Best for domestic, rural and regional tourism in East and Southern Africa, the World Bank-funded Resilient Natural Resource Management for Tourism and Growth project is under implementation in Tanzania.
Implementation of the six-year Resilient Natural Resource Management for Tourism and Growth (REGROW) involves the development of community-based tourist projects to empower local communities in taking part on tourism activities.
REGROW project is mostly targeting the development of tourism programs for local communities living neighbors to wildlife parks in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania where tourism and tourist businesses are far less developed.
Taking an advantage of rich tourist attractions, mostly wildlife and nature, REGROW project will attract Domestic Tourism for local Tanzanians, Regional Tourism for visitors from Southern African states, and international class tourists.
Southern Tanzania is a new tourist circuit set for development, mostly targeting Regional Tourists from Malawi, Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, South Africa, Rwanda and Burundi.
Currently under implementation, REGROW project also targets the development of tourist infrastructure, mostly roads and transport services to access wildlife parks in Southern Tanzania whose tourist support infrastructure is less developed compared to those in Northern Tanzania Tourist Circuit.
Northern Tanzania Tourist Circuit attracts regional tourists from East African states apart from international tourists through Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) in Kilimanjaro and Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi, Kenya.
Tanzanian Deputy Minister for Tourism Mr. Constantine Kanyasu said among the areas under REGROW Project is the newly established Nyerere National Park in Southern Tanzania. It is the biggest wildlife protected park in East Africa covering about 30,000 Square kilometers within Selous Game Reserve.
The World Bank’s US Dollar 150 million soft loan credit had been directed for the implementation of a project for transforming the tourism sector in the southern circuit.
Tanzania is now targeting diversification of tourist products, focusing more on the less developed Southern Zone that is rich with wildlife, nature, historical, and geographical features.
Under REGROW Project, Tanzania’s Southern Zone would be developed for tourism diversification as to attract more companies that would invest in hotel and accommodation facilities, air transport, ground-tour handling, and other tourist services, all of which are lacking.
REGROW project targets to position the Southern Circuit to become an engine of growth through tourism development and associated benefits with the promotion of conservation of National Parks and Game Reserves within the Circuit.
The “Southern Circuit” includes several National Parks of Katavi, Kitulo, Mahale, Udzungwa Mountains, Mikumi, and Ruaha, all holding different tourist attractions.
Northern Circuit wildlife parks attract over 800,000 photographic safari tourists per year. They are made up of Mount Kilimanjaro, Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Tarangire, Lake Manyara, and Arusha.
Tanzania National Parks management has identified key areas for tourist investments mostly hotel development in less-visited tourist attractive wildlife parks in southern and western Tanzania.
The REGROW project will also finance the diversification of livelihoods in selected communities neighboring four priority Protected Areas (PAs) made up of Mikumi National Park, Ruaha National Park, Udzungwa Mountains National Park, and the northern photographic zone of the Selous Game Reserve.
Through the REGROW project, Tanzania seeks to strengthen the management of protected areas then promote nature-based tourism in Southern Tanzania with a focus on domestic, regional, or intra-African and international tourism.