What was the actual amount earned through tourism? Give us the dollar amount please! JK: Tourism now leading foreign exchange earner DEOGRATIAS MUSHI in Arusha Daily News; Monday,May 19, 2008 @17:01 Tourism has now become the leading foreign exchange earner in Tanzania, as it accounts for 17.2 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), President Jakaya Kikwete has said. Opening the 33rd African Travel Association (ATA) congress here today, president Kikwete said that the number of international tourist arrivals in the country had also increased from 525,122 in 2001, to 719,031 last year, creating 250,000 jobs. The president said the success was possible, thanks to governments serious measure to promote development of tourism in the country. He said tourism had now been a model of success in the current economic reform process, as it had been very responsive to transformation and modernization, catching up with international standards. We know we are not there yet, but we are determined to get there the soonest possible, as we want to make our country a premier world destination for leisure, pleasure, exploration and discovery, said the president. Mr Kikwete said Tanzania had realized that working in partnership with other stakeholders in the industry like ATA was a key to success that could attract more tourists and more investment in tourism infrastructures. The president said that though Africa had vast tourist resources available, tourism in the continent was still at a very infant stage of development. What has so far been exploited is a very tiny party of the tourism potential that exist in our dear continent. Much more can be done and need to be done, said the president. The president told the ATA congress which is meeting under the theme; Bringing Africa to the World and the World to Africa that more needs to be done to tap Africas potential and increase Africas share in the global tourism business. He said Africas share of global tourist business remains small, as projections indicate that Africa will receive 47 million tourists in 2010 and 77.3 million in 2020, an average growth of 5.5 per cent annually. Given that global tourism arrivals are projected to be one billion in 2010 and 1.6 billion in 2020, Africas share remains relatively small. Africa can perform much better than what the projections tell us, president Kikwete said. He added that development of tourism in Africa had called for solutions to solve problems facing the industry like communications, accommodation and standard of services to make the tourists stay comfortable in the host country. The president criticized the attitude of the western media towards Africa, particularly about what deserves to be told about Africa. He said the coverage of Africas problems of conflicts had overshadowed the good stories from Africa, including its beauty and tourism potential. He stressed that when this attitude changed, Africas image in the western world will also change, and the tourism sector would benefit tremendously.