Tanzania Attempts to Market Tourism Attractions Through Soccer and Golf in Europe, as Diplomats Struggle to Interpret Economic Diplomacy

By TZ Business News Staff

A drive to increase tourist arrivals from Europe into Tanzania has taken a rather creative twist as Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism picks marketing through sports.

Tanzania’s traditional sources of tourists has for some time been China,  Britain, Germany, Italy and France.  These  old markets are being consolided. New markets are to be coaxed through sports.

The Tanzania Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Dr. Damas  Ndumbaro  has been on his toes jumping from one aircraft to another, from one European border to another,  asking sports clubs for help to market the country’s  tourism attractions.  

And Tanzanian diplomats are working hand in hand with the Minister as he flies from one capital to another. The trips raise hope the country might soon start to receive floods of tourists from Europe.

In the midst of all these trips, meanwhile, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has decided Tanzania is ideal location for hosting  its 65th World Tourism Conference.

Dr. Ndumbaro  has  already signed the agreement to host the UNWTO Conference October 5 -7, 2022, according to a  Tweeter Statement posted by the Tanzania Embassy in France. The agreement was signed  in Madrid, Spain,  before the UNWTO Secretary General,  Mr. Zurab Pololikashvil.

The Tanzania Ambassandor to France Samwel Shelukindo witnessed the agreement signinig.

UNWTO is the United Nations agency responsible for promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism. The organization promotes tourism as a driver of economic growth.

The focus on marketing Tanzania tourist attractions through sports has led the Minister into discussions with a number of European soccer clubs big and small.  In Spain,  Dr. Ndumbaro has held talks with officials from the soccer teams Atletico Madrid and  Getafe, both of which play on the Spanish football league, Laliga, watched by millions of fans across the globe.

The Minister has submitted a request asking these teams to market Tanzania through their soccer jersey and stadium billboards. The Minister also held talks with the smaller soccer club Real Valladolid which is owned by  the Brazilian soccer star Ronaldo De Lima.

Dr. Damas Ndumbaro (center) in Spain

A statement issued by the Ministry of Tourism and Natural Resources quotes Dr. Ndumbaro as saying both teams have expressed interest to co-operate with Tanzania in marketing the country’s tourist attractions.

While In Europe,  Dr. Ndumbaro  also  traveled to Holland to coax the country’s AJAX  Soccer Club for an agreement to advertise Tanzania’s  tourist attracts on their soccer jersey and bill boards in their stadium.

Discussions between the Minister and AJAX  “went well” according  to a Ministry of Natural  Resources and Tourism statement. Dr. Ndumbaro  held the discussions with club  officials Tanja Dik and the Ajax Director of Finance  Han Mouton.

Dr. Damas Ndumbaro (front center) in Holland

The Minister also requested  a major golf club  in Holland the GC BurgGolf Westerpark, Zoetermeer to  consider working with Tanzania  in running golf tournaments  to be called  the “Mt. Kilimanjaro Open”.

The Minister presented this proposal to golf  club  officials  Eline Dujardin  and Ronald Mos.  This proposal was also well received, the Ministry said in the statement.

Both AJAX  and  GC BurgGolf Westerpark, Zoetermeer  will submit their final decisions to the Minister through the Tanzania embassy in Holland.


Dr. Ndumbaro (second right) is shown around AJAX stadium. He is accompanied by Tanzania Ambassador to Holland Irene  Kasyanju (second left).

At  the Tanzania Embassy in Holland, Dr. Ndumbaro updated  Tanzania Ambassador to Holland Irene  Kasyanju and  other members of staff  on the Ministry’s vision in promoting the country’s tourist attractions.

The Minister said  his Ministry’s marketing strategy included introduction of  “student packages”, digital advertising, adverts through sports,  using the news media and  using famous people  of influence in the world.

Approximately 38 percent of Tanzania’s land area is set aside as protected areas for conservation. The country boasts of 17 national parks, 29 game reserves, and 40 controlled conservation areas.

The campaign in Holland augments earlier  marketing efforts, which include Tanzania’s recent participation at the Expo Dubai 2020, where Tanzania clarified the geographical location of Mt. Kilimanjaro, the Serengeti National Park, and origin of  the Tanzanite stone.

Dr, Ndumbaro asked EXPO participants in Dubai to always remember these tourist attractions were all in Tanzania and nowhere else.