Tourism has continued to play an important role in the Tanzanian economy and is rated among the fastest growing sectors in the country. In ensuring that information on tourism continues to be available, the multi institutional committee which consists of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, Bank of Tanzania, National Bureau of Statistics, Immigration Department and the Zanzibar Commission for Tourism conducts the International Visitors’ Exit Survey annually.

The key objective of the survey is to collect up-to-date information on tourist expenditure o be used in the “Tourist Expenditure Model” for estimation of international tourism receipts for compilation of the National Accounts and Balance of Payments statistics. The survey also aims at obtaining information that is used for strategic planning, tourism promotion and macroeconomic policy formulation.

In this regard, we are glad to introduce The 2009 Tanzania Tourism Sector Survey Report which provides important tourism statistics such as tourist earnings, source markets, purposes of visit and average length of stay. The report also highlights some areas for improvement notably airport facilities and roads leading to the tourist attractions.

In 2009 the number of tourist arrivals went down to 714,367 from 770,376 in 2008. As a result, tourism earnings declined by 10.0 percent from USD 1,288.7 million in 2008 to USD 1,159.8 million. The decline is partly attributed to the global financial crisis and the A (H1N1) influenza pandemic. Notwithstanding the decline, indications of quick recovery are expected to continue in 2010.