TOURISM STAKEHOLDERS DEMAND GREATER VISIBILITY FOR 7 WONDERS VOTE
Sections of Tanzanias tourism stakeholders have voiced their concern over the lack of visibility for the upcoming 2012 vote for the 7 natural wonders of the world, for which the country has reportedly entered three key attractions, Mt. Kilimanjaro, Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti with the annual migration of a million and a half wildebeest and zebras. Other countries in Africa are making a lot of noise about their tourist attractions. The Egyptians about the pyramids and South Africa about the Table Mountain for instance, but here we see little, hear less and information how we can help promote this more and more important annual vote is sparse. The South Africans were the only ones since this thing started in 2009 to be voted into the top bracket [sic: Victoria
Falls was once in the top 7] and it is time the world is told more about Africa. We have top class attractions but do too little to propagate them. We fail to use the new social media more effectively which cost a lot less than conventional marketing and we want to see a new vision from the tourist board and the ministry how they intend to capture this. And we are talking professionals here, not ministry bureaucrats who are responsible for the sham marketing they are doing. This can be a lot of free publicity if we do it right said a regular source overnight to this correspondent, exposing what he thought was a very good idea to put Tanzania on the global tourism map. We have a lot of negative publicity about the Serengeti highway, the Lake Natron issues, the Selous issues and so forth and the report of 30 elephant poached a day two weeks ago in parliament exposed our weaknesses in conservation. Let us work hand in hand to make the 7 new natural wonders vote a success for Tanzania, use twitter hash tags and ask our friends, clients and colleagues to like FB pages tailored to promote our proposed sites, so that the world can find us with ease.
Tanzania though has made ripples by having three landmarks included while other African countries, including Kenya have entered only one proposal. Kenya is actively promoting Mt. Kenya around the world to capture votes in what can only be described as a concerted campaign of e-marketing.
In stark contrast there seems to be the usual silence from the Uganda Tourist Board and our own Ministry of Tourism about having nominated any of our parks or natural attractions for inclusion in the list of the 7 new natural wonders of the world, which if true, especially in our 50th Golden Jubilee Anniversary year, would be a crucial oversight and reveal the sad state of affairs about which Ugandan tourism stakeholders complain day in and day out.
Good luck to the entries of Tanzania and Kenya, in the apparent absence of any nominations from Uganda and lets hope one of our East African attractions will be voted into the top 7 this year. Watch this space.