World Tourism & World Cup

World Tourism & World Cup asks:

Q. Are toursits coming from USA to TZ increasing after world economy crisis? Is world cup is going to affect tourism in East Africa?

A. The only numbers we have of Americans traveling to Tanzania is provided by the TTB (Tanzania Tourist Board), and we’ve always been skeptical about them; they come out so long after the fact. So the question whether tourism is increasing is a very hard statistical question… My gut feeling is that yes, it is increasing, but very, very slowly.

Unlike the TTB, the South African Tourism board reports numbers accurately and often, and they are quite discouraged by the lack of interest from the United States for the World Cup. The numbers they expected from Europe are proving true, and June and July should be boon years for South African tourism as a result, but ironically, it seems that some Americans who would have been traveling in South Africa are avoiding it because they suspect crowds and other logjams. “Soccer” as we call it at home, just isn’t a big sport, here. So if anything, there could be a boost to East African tourism as a result of Americans diverting from South Africa.