NMB Bank PLC over the weekend handed over a dummy cheque worth 20m/- to the National College of Tourism (NCT) as part of the its commitment to support tourism sector capacity development across the country.
The bank’s support compliments NCT’s strategy that seeks to enhance value addition in the tourism sector value chain as part of efforts to improve the sector’s competitiveness.
Speaking during the handover ceremony held in Dar es Salaam, the NMB Bank Chief Human Resources Officer Emmanuel Akonaay said the bank’s is committed to supporting development of the tourism sector because of its contribution to the country’s economy.
“We are today handing over 20m/- that will help in capacity building for players in the tourism value chain including immigration officers, hoteliers, transport industry among others. It is our hope that this training program will be a catalyst to development of an effective and competitive tourism sector,” he said.
He said his bank is committed to continue providing tailor-made financial services adding that the bank has a number of products that target tourists as part of its commitment to support a cashless economy.
“We have already engaged a number of players in the tourism industry and we our digital systems ensures that tourists get financial services including foreign exchange at their convenience. We have installed Point Of Sales (POS) machines at tourist centers and tourists can now effect payments using their Mastercards, Visa or Union pay,” he added.
The Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism Pindi Chana during the event thanked the bank for its timely support adding that the tourism sector offers many opportunities in the banking and finance sector.
“We have many tourism hotspots and the tourism sector has so many opportunities that remain un exploited. The sector is a big foreign exchange earner and employs roughly 1.6 million people both directly and indirectly. I take this opportunity to thank NMB Bank for its commitment to support the sector and called upon other finance service providers to support the ministry,” she said.
Chana noted that the Government targets five million tourists per annum by 2025 adding that such a target cannot be reached without providing quality services.
“President Samia Suluhu Hassan has already set the tone after launching the ‘Royal Tour’ documentary that showcases the country’s unique tourist potential. We have begun reaping fruits of the documentary evidenced by the upsurge in tourism numbers in recent months. Players in the tourism sector need to offer quality services and create memorable and unforgettable experiences for the tourists,” she said.
Chana noted that the Government has already drawn plans to diversify the tourism sector and is already exploiting opportunities to tap into conference tourism which has proved to be a profitable venture in developed countries.
Earlier, the NCT Chief Executive Officer Dr. Shogo Mlozi noted that the strategic training program targets 5000 participants from the tourism sector value chain from regions that include Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar, Arusha, Mwanza, Kilimanjaro and Mara.
She noted that the college would first offer training program to 700 immigration officers since they are the first and last people to engage visiting tourists.
“This training program compliments Government’s efforts to support development of the sector and make it competitive. We as NCT have no option but to come up with strategies to ensure that service providers provide high quality services to meet market demand,” Dr. Mlozi said.