Tanzanian hotel chain targets World Cup 2010

ARUSHA, TANZANIA – Hotels & Lodges (T) Limited has said it will utilize the forthcoming World Cup in South Africa to boost its market and tourism in the country.

The company that owns four hotels and lodges in the Northern Tanzania Tourism Circuit has said the World Cup 2010 in South Africa will be a golden chance to Tanzania’s hotel industry.

Freddy Tenga, the group’s operations manager told East African Business Week last week his company is set to utilize the opportunity.

The group owns Lake Manyara Hotel, Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge, Seronera Lodge and Lobo Lodge which are all located in the northern tourism circuit in the Serengeti and Manyara National Parks and in the Ngorongoro Concervetion Area.

The four hotels and lodges are dubbed “Africa’s Prime Safari Locations” because of their strategic locations. Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge is perched on the rim of the crater at about 7,500 feet above sea-level.

Tenga said for the Tanzania hotel industry to benefit, all hotels and lodges in the circuit must “commit themselves in a rehabilitation work and put the necessary hotel infrastructure that would attract tourists.”

To do this, Tenga said all hotel owners need to rehabilitate their hotels to international standards.

“On our part as Hotels &Lodges Group we have been involved in a multibillion rehabilitation project sine 2007,” he said.

He said the rehabilitation has cost the group $25 million (about TShs26 billion).

He said rehabilitation at Lake Manyara Hotel has almost been completed.

Tenga said one way of attracting tourists during the World Cup in 2010 would be to ease transport.

“We may therefore enter into contract with airlines such as Air Tanzania to ferry tourists to the region,” he suggested.

Tourists coming to the four hotels are usually from Italy, France, Germany, China, Scandinavian countries, India, and USA.

Tenga said his group has been actively participating in almost all international tourism trade fairs in the world including Indaba (SA). The four properties which were formerly owned by the Tanzania government under TAHI were privatized to a Mauritian investor Gulf Oil Corporation Limited (GAPCO) in 2003 for $15 million.

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