How Coronavirus impacted tourism in Tanzania

Tanzania2020 has been a tumultuous year. With borders across the world closing up and countries hunkering down to prepare for the global lockdown, businesses across the board were affected in ways previously thought unimaginable. None more so than the tourism sector.

But still, some of the travel agencies like Altezza Travel have been doing everything they can to help the tourism industry of Tanzania survive this precipitous fall. The main goal was to work with the government to make sure that the pandemic does not leave a black mark on this beautiful country.

Tanzania, the dream destination of many adventurous souls across the world, has somehow managed to give Covid-19 the slip and retain its clientele. Its economy is based 17% around its tourism potential, and losing that would have been disastrous. While the country did close its borders back in March of last year, it has only gone from strength to strength since. How? Let’s find out!

Initial rebellion

As early as April 2020, a month after lockdown, Tanzania was making plans to reopen its borders for tourists. The Tanzania Tourist Board leaders refused to simply roll over and let the pandemic destroy the economy of his country. He realized that even if the country was going to be under lock and key, the visions of adventure should be absent from the collective minds of the people.

The Tanzania Tourist Board, or TTB for short, came up with around ten strategies to keep the tourism sector from crumbling into dust. They worked closely with people who held a stake in the industry to control the effects of the pandemic and promote the country’s many great tourist attractions through international media.

The wider the reach, the better, and thus was born one of the most effective tourism strategies ever hatched: The Serengeti Live Show.

Serengeti live show

YouTube is kind of a big deal in the Interweb. It has two billion active monthly users worldwide. That’s almost half of the people on the Earth. So, what better way to advertise anything than circulate it on YouTube?

TanzaniaBut it can’t be just anything, oh no. What comes to your mind when you hear the word Serengeti? Yes, the National Park, sure, but what does one do there? Safaris. And what’s the next best thing when you are stuck at home but want to be on a safari? Live-streamed safaris.

That is exactly what Tanzania Tourism offers on its YouTube channel: a safari, recorded live, for you to enjoy from the safety of your homes. What’s more, it’s free! You don’t have to spend a dime to watch this.

What does this achieve? Well, it prevents you from undergoing the dreaded ‘out of sight, out of mind’ syndrome. It keeps your appetite whetted for when the borders do open up and show you what you can expect. Either way, you slice it, the Serengeti Live Show was and continues to be a hit.

On the road to recovery

So, did it work? Even after Covid-19 landed a few solid blows on the Tanzania economy as a whole – foreign exchange, as well as tourism, took a nosedive was it able to bounce back? Well, from taking a look at the scores of tourists thronging to Tanzania after they opened up for business in June of last year, we can conclude that their strategy was a success.

TanzaniaBut this wasn’t without struggle. In June, Tanzania’s Minister of Tourism and Natural Resources, Hamisi Kigwangalla, made a statement in parliament declaring that, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the number of tourists visiting the country had fallen off a cliff. Whereas in 2019, approximately 1.6 million people had visited, that number had dropped to only about 437,000 in 2020.

Numerically, that makes a 76% decline. For a country where tourism counts for 25% of the total foreign exchange revenue, this has been a staggering hit. However, the number has been rising. Prominent airlines like Emirates and Swiss Air have resumed their flights to and from Tanzania, bringing with them tourists whose trust the Tanzanians have won back.


No, things are not the same yet. Tanzania, despite claiming to be Covid-19 free, is a source of controversy for unrest. However, the pandemic seems to have slowed its hold on the country, and the business is, slowly but surely, trickling back.

Times were tough for Tanzania. Beauty is only beautiful when there are people to behold it. Without eyes, it may as well as have never existed. But it does, and it will continue to capture the world’s attention and fancy with its breathtaking landscape and culture. Like a glorious phoenix, the country, along with its tourism industry, is rising from the ashes, and, having already tasted destruction, it will grow stronger than ever before.

Due to the ongoing situation, always check the latest Government travel advice when planning your holiday.

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