Tourism is the main source of hard currency in Tanzania, known for its beaches, wildlife safaris and Mount Kilimanjaro.
The government of the country wants now to put a cable car on Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s tallest mountain. At this time, around 50,000 tourists climb Kilimanjaro annually. It’s estimated that a cable car could increase tourist numbers by 50 percent by providing access to the mountain for those unable to climb it. Feasibility studies are conducted now. Two companies, one from China and another from a Western country, have shown interest for this investment.
However guide groups who take tourists up the mountain oppose the project. They fear cable cars will reduce the number of climbers and if this thing occurs some jobs for local people will be lost. “One visitor from the U.S. can have a maximum of 15 people behind him, of which 13 are porters, a cook and a guide. All these jobs will be affected by a cable car,” Loishiye Mollel, head of Tanzania Porters’ Organisation, said. The length of the route has not been finalized, with various options under consideration depending on cost and engineering issues. Tanzania is mountainous and densely forested in the north-east, where Mount Kilimanjaro is located. Tanzania remains heavily agricultural, with 80% of the total population engaging in subsistence farming. Tourism is a big hope, because it is boosting the economy.