TTB cautioned over ‘bad’ contracts after Sunderland rip-off

The Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Professor Jumanne Maghembe, has instructed the Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) to promote the country’s attractions and avoid entering into controversial contracts.
Prof Maghembe issued the directive during his keynote address at the inauguration of the TTB Board of Directors in Dar es Salaam yesterday.
“TTB has to be extra careful when signing contracts to avoid future negative consequences that could lead it into bad debts and bankruptcy,” said Prof Maghembe.
He named such debts as the Sunderland Football Club and the English Premier League, noting that the issue went further and was ruled in court requiring TTB to pay debts amounting to 3.7bn/-. Prof Maghembe said the debts are a result of dubious contracts that did not go through the right process, which in the end cause problems to the country.
“This new board has a role to play in making sure that TTB does not end up making the same mistakes like what has occurred,” said Prof Maghembe. He pointed out that a plan had been set out to clear the debts because that alone had been the only solution to end the matter.
The tourism sector is contributing 17 per cent of the country’s GDP and in the near future it’s projected to rise by 20 per cent.
“Your role is to ensure Tanzania gets into the bigger picture by promoting the country and the tourism sector abroad,” he directed, adding that the problem is that most tourists do not visit the country’s scattered tourist parks due to high airfare compared to countries like Kenya. “The issue has been used as a vantage point for neighbouring countries so that tourists do not come to Tanzania.
There is, therefore, need for such matters to be classified as hidden barriers in the East African Community (EAC),” stressed the minister. As the country is on the move to acquire its own airplanes, TTB should advocate for routes that would act in favour of boosting the tourism sector in the country.
TTB has a role to kick start the tourism business by holding talks with hotel owners and airlines to reduce prices during the low season to attract business. The Chairman of TTB, Judge (retired) Thomas Mihayo, pointed out that the parastatal was in a critical financial situation.
“When the board got in three months ago, TTB’s accounts had held only 6,000 US dollars and 11m/- and on the other hand a debt of over 300m/- that includes outstanding allowances and salaries,” said Judge Mihayo.
Among other challenges that TTB faces is relying on tourism levy as the only source of income and the Board of Directors relying on funds from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism to operate.
Prof Maghembe called for the improvement of working conditions, including salaries and allowances commensurate with the nature of their work as well as provision of adequate funds to enable the board of directors to carry out its operations.
TTB Managing Director, Ms Devotha Mdachi, noted that the board has already paid 300,000 pounds to the English football club. The debt stood at 500,000 pounds. (Photo on Page 5)
TTB cautioned over ‘bad’ contracts after Sunderland rip-off TTB cautioned over ‘bad’ contracts after Sunderland rip-off Reviewed by on 6:29:00 AM Rating: 5

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