Players in Forestry and Water sectors have touted Ecotourism as a potential product to complement Wildlife tourism.
Bob Matunda, an assistant conservator for Amani Nature Forest Reserve euded confidence on the ecotourism, saying the government could bank on it in luring more tourists to the country.
“Such spots are strategically located with waterfalls, viewpoints and also ideal for mediation purposes,” said Mr Matunda while addressing a stakeholders’ forum on improving community livelihoods through sustainable ecotourism and water sources conservation in nature forest reserves.
Detailing on Amani Nature Reserve’s biological diversity, Mr Matunda said the site was a home to rare species like the Amani flatwing dragonfly and the Amani sunbird.
“The place is also ideal for mountain biking,” he added.
Marketing and Planning Manager with Tanzania Forest Service Agency (TFS), Deogratius Malogo, told the forum that a total of 15,000 tourists had visited 20 nature forest reserves found in the country, by 2019.
The country has set a target of 30,000 more tourists to come for ecotourism in the next five years.
“The potential is just massive as it contributes to the conservation of biological diversity and protecting local people’s welfare,” explained the TFS official.
Mr Malogo appealed to the private sector to invest in the new tourism product; a move he said would cement the country’s status on tourism fronts globally.
Tanzania ranks amongst the top countries in terms of the representativeness of eco-regions, richness of species and extent of species endemism.
The country is also a major repository of globally significant biodiversity, and most of the species can be found in the forest nature reserves.
However, despite the government’s efforts, Tanzania’s forest and the biodiversity they contain is said to be under considerable threat, with an average of one per cent of the forest area being lots every year.