Tanzania called upon by Chinese Ambassador to boost tourism at CIIE Expo


Dar es Salaam. The Chinese ambassador to Tanzania, Chen Mingjian, has advised Tanzanian exhibitors to promote tourism at the 6th China International Import Expo (CIIE).

Speaking at a farewell ceremony for Tanzanians travelling to China to participate in the 6th China International Import Expo (CIIE), Ambassador Chen said the sudden post-pandemic surge in Chinese outbound tourism was an opportunity Tanzania should grab.

More than 150 million mainland Chinese travelled abroad in the pre-Covid year of 2019. Now that the Covid-19 travel restrictions have been removed and air travel has gone back to normal in China, the number of tourists travelling is expected to exceed the pre-pandemic one. Experts predict that outbound Chinese tourism in the world could reach 180 million in 2024.

“Apart from agricultural products, I believe Tanzania should intensify its efforts to promote its tourist attractions in China,” Ms Chen noted.

She added that Tanzania’s beautiful tourist destinations, including Mount Kilimanjaro, Serengeti National Park, and the pristine white beaches of Zanzibar, have the potential to attract more Chinese tourists.

Tanzanian authorities have identified China, together with India and Russia, as strategic tourism markets.

In April 2023, Tanzania received the first batch of 28 Chinese tourists after the removal of Covid-19 travel restrictions. Expectations are that close to 40,000 Chinese tourists could visit Tanzania this year. In May, about 40 travel agents from China visited Tanzania to sample tourist attractions for promotion in Mainland China.

She also talked about how soybeans from Tanzania have been a significant agricultural product for China over the past three years.

She said in 2022, Tanzania exported around 20,000 tonnes of soybeans to China, marking a significant increase from the 1,000 tonnes exported in 2021.

The Chairman of the Tanzania Trade Development Authority (Tantrade), Prof Ulingeta Mbamba, announced that 16 Tanzanian companies have confirmed their participation in the upcoming CIIE scheduled for mid-November this year. He emphasised the potential for Tanzania to export high-quality products to China, considering China’s substantial market.

Ambassador Chen also encouraged Tanzania to utilise the CIIE platform to promote tourism. She noted,

Prof Mbamba stressed that this year’s exhibition presents an excellent opportunity for the country to export new products.

Stella Mwakagenda, Marketing Manager at Kibisa Millennium Venture, expressed their appreciation for the opportunity to exhibit their products in China, emphasising that the exhibition would enable them to showcase their products to a global audience. The products to be showcased include wine, cocoa, honey, Maasai sandals, and cashew nuts.

The CIIE is the world’s first import-themed large-scale expo and the only well-known exhibition globally that requires exhibits to be 100 percent imported. Held every November, the CIIE revolves around the theme of New Era, Shared Future and comprises four components: the Country Pavilion for Trade and Investment, the Hongqiao International Economic Forum, the Enterprise and Business Exhibition, and related events for trade and investment promotion, as well as cultural exchanges.

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