Tanzania requires more than 30,000 hotel beds for it to meet accommodation demand for increasing numbers of holidaymakers.
Currently, the country has about 38,000 hotel beds but demand for 70,000 beds.
According to the acting Director of Tourism, Deogratius Mdamu, the industry is growing rapidly, resulting in overbooking of hotels during peak period – between July and December.
The challenge comes in the wake of a rise in international tourist arrivals. Last year, international tourist arrivals to Tanzania increased to 1,284,279 up from 1,137,182 the previous year.
Speaking recently at a ceremony in Arusha, where participating hotels were classified and awarded star-ratings, Mdamu said: “Following a rise in tourists in the country, more hotel beds are needed to offer accommodation to holidaymakers.”
Until recently, Arusha, which is the country’s tourism hub and gateway to the Northern Circuit, had about 2,800 hotel beds. The region is reported to have increased the hotel beds to 3,000 while Mwanza, despite its tourism potential has only 920 beds, slightly higher than Kilimanjaro and Mbeya at 916 and 670 beds respectively.
Dar es Salaam region leads in the country with over 3,000 hotel beds.
Tourism Minister, Jumanne Maghembe, said although the country required more hotel beds “hotels must offer quality accommodation and services to guests to enable them get value for their money”.
Quality services in the hotel industry, he added, would help attract more international visitors to the country and boost economic growth and job creation.
Maghembe said hotels in Dar es Salaam mainly hosted conferences and meetings while facilities in the Northern circuit focused on leisure.