Earnings from the tourism sector improved significantly – rising by 53.7 percent, to $1.32 billion – in the year to November 30, 2021 after being adversely hit by Covid-19.
The steady recovery trend is attributed to the upturn in the global economy and prudent economic policies set to minimize the impacts of the pandemic, which has ravaged economies all over the world.
The Bank of Tanzania (BoT) revealed that the hospitality sector’s receipts rose to $1.32 billion in the year that ended on November 30, 2021, up from the $861.8 million recorded in the same period of the previous year.
The central bank says the performance indicates the gradual recovery of tourism activities facilitated also by the increasing number of international arrivals in the country.
“The increase is proportional with an increase in the number of tourist arrivals, which rose by 31.5 percent to 892, 541,” the central bank said in its Monthly Economic Review (MER) report for December 2021.
President Samia Suluhu Hassan said in her new year speech that Tanzania received 1.4 million international arrivals in 2021 compared with about 600,000 arrivals in the previous year.
Tanzania also experienced improvement in transport receipts, which rose to $1.45 billion from $1.3 billion in November 2020, while earnings from other services – including construction, insurance, financial, telecommunication, computer and information, charges for the use of intellectual property, government, personal and other business services – also improved.
The two sectors (together with the exportation of traditional goods) continue to be the bedrock of the economy, pushing for total exportation of goods and services to $9.78 billion in the year to November 30, 2021, from $8.61 billion in the same period of 2020.
Gold exports, which accounted for 44.1 percent of total goods exports, remained largely the same – amounting to $2.81 billion – while exports of manufactured goods amounted to $1.19 billion in 2021, from $894.8 million in the previous year.
“Much of the increases was registered in exports of cosmetics, iron and steel, plastic and paper products. There was a noticeable growth in exports of rice, maize and beans to the neighbouring countries, reflecting an increase in regional trade,” the central bank stated.
Moreover, in the year to November 30, 2021, goods and services purchased from the rest of the world by Tanzanians also increased, the BoT said.
The central bank said the increase was observed in all import categories, with a significant rise in oil, industrial raw materials and transport equipment.
“Imports of goods and services increased to $11.25 billion, from $9.26 billion during the similar period in 2020,” the report reads in part.
Oil imports increased by 44.9 percent to $1.93 billion, on account of both price and volume. Services payments increased to $1.57 billion from $1.34 billion in the year to November 2020, much of the increase stemming from freight payments consistent with a surge in import bill.