By Theopista Nsanzugwako
Beijing — Chinese tourism firms have been advised to make the maximum use of social media to advertise Tanzania as a destination for Chinese tourists to this East African nation.
The advice was issued yesterday during a debate between Tanzanians taking part in China Outbound International Travel and Tourism Market in Beijing and their Chinese counterparts.
The discussion dwelt on how to capture the tourist market, set a good environment for the Chinese visitors and explored avenues for better learning skills of the Chinese Language — because many Chinese speak only their language, hence the need for competent translators as well as hotels chefs who can cook their cultural delicacies.
This meeting was organised by Tanzania Ambassador to China, Mbelwa Kairuki, aims at launching a strategic plan to facilitate dialogue between tourism stakeholders in the two countries. It was attended by stakeholders from the Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB), Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA) and Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA), among others.
Contributing, a manager with Utor Group of Companies, Crystal Guo said Tanzania was among the world’s high-end destinations, specially available for the people of China. She said she had visited Tanzania, but often people don’t know its beauty and tourism of animal migration correctly as a lot of them become Tanzania not Kenya.
Guo said Tanzania would be better exploring many more attractions, not just tourism based on animals “wildebeest migration, for instance, lends itself to the use of social networks on mobile phones – and distributing the information to users globally – through the phone.
“It’s also important to use local media … as well as other ways of modern networks … advertising through posters, brochures or other traditional means have since gone stale,” she counseled.
The head of CAISSA Tourism Group, Maggie Li, said Tanzania was among the world’s high-end destinations from which travel agencies could make “good money” but decried the fact that many Chinese people do not know just how good Tanzania could help open Chinese markets – citing countries like Kenya which has reaped dividends from tourism through the use of a famous Chinese basketball player, Yao Ming, arguing that Tanzania could also find its own ‘famous’ Chinese ‘decoy’ to sell its attractions to China.
A professor of Strategic Tourism from Beijing International University, Tongqian Zou, proposed turning Tanzania into “leading tourism destination for China would require the “use of a variety of networks.”
He also proposed that advertisers make a special focus on the young generation by encouraging Tanzania students studying in China to “sell Tanzania to their peers.”