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By Karen Hoffman/Chanel LeMond

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIF., Feb. 5, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- At a private VIP reception held recently at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, Vice Mayor of Beverly Hills, Julian Gold, joined by former Mayor, Jimmy Delshad, presented a proclamation honoring the people of Tanzania to Dr. Adelhelm James Meru, Permanent Secretary, Tanzania's Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism. Dr. Meru, leading a 25- person high level Tanzania Tourism delegation which included three members of Parliament, Hon. Mwanahamisi Kassim Saidi, Hon. Susan Kiwanga and Hon. Peter Msigwa, presented a Tanzanian wood carving to Vice Mayor Julian Gold as an expression of appreciation on behalf of H.E. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, President of the United Republic of Tanzania, Hon. Lazaro Nyalandu, Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism, H.E. Liberata Mulamula, Tanzania Ambassador to the United States of America in Washington DC, and the entire delegation.

Two famous Hollywood actors, Lou Gossett, Jr., who filmed "Bush Baby" in Tanzania and Richard Roundtree, famous for his role in the movie "Shaft", also attended the reception to honor the Tanzania delegation.
Organized by the Tanzania Tourist Board, the reception launched a three-city travel agent promotion in the west coast of the United States which included Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle. The promotional visit was to show support for Tanzania's American tourism partners, agents, tour operators, airlines, and media as well as to provide an update on the expanding tourism product, new infrastructure and air connections.
Tanzania has become the top destination of 2015 for the American traveler. It was named one of the "Best Places to Travel in 2015" by Travel + Leisure, featured in The"52 Places to Go In 2015" by The New York Times and Tanzania's Ruaha National Park was featured on Afar Magazine's "2015 Where to Go" list.
"We are confident that 2015 will be a year of continued growth from the American Market especially since destination Tanzania is on  so many 'hot lists' of places to go," noted Dr. Adelhelm Meru.
Devota Mdachi, Tanzania Tourist Board's Acting Managing Director, said "The west coast of the United States is one of the largest tourism generating markets for Tanzania and we expect this to increase as Ethiopian Airlines opens its new gateway in Los Angeles and Turkish Airlines opens its new gateway in San Francisco."

The public sector accompanying Dr. Adelhelm James Meru, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism (MNRT) of The United Republic of Tanzania include: Members of Parliament: Hon. Mwanahamisi Kassim Saidi, MP; Hon.  Susan Kiwanga, MP; and Hon. Peter Msigwa, MP; from Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism (MNRT): Zahoro A. Kimwaga, Director of Tourism, MNRT; Collin Machella, Tourism Officer, MNRT; Simon Odunga, Principal Conservator, Antiquity Division, MNRT; and Charles Mulokozi, Assistant Director of the Wildlife Division, MNRT;from the Embassy of the United Republic of Tanzania: Immaculata Diyamett, Tourism Officer; From Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB): Devota Mdachi,  Acting Managing Director, TTB and Deogratias Malogo, Research and Development Manager, TTB; from Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA): Ibrahim Mussa, Director of Tourism and Marketing, TANAPA and Catherine Mbena, Senior Corporate Communication Officer, TANAPA; from Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA): Asantael Melita, Principal Officer, NCAA and Egidius Mweyunge,  Manager Legal Services, NCAA; and  from The Bradford Group/ Tanzania Tourist Board USA: Karen Hoffman and Chanel LeMond.
The private sector included Nicola Colangelo and Carolina Colangelo from Coastal Aviation;  Deepesh Gupta from Auric Air Services; Rashid Adam from Zara Tours; Komail Ismail and Salim Ebrahim from Wellworth Hotels & Lodges; Sascha Bullen from Precision Air; and Nuria Panizo from Tanganyika Wilderness Camps.
Also present at the VIP reception were Tanzania Tourism's Goodwill Ambassadors in the US, Macon Dunnagan, who just completed his 36th summit of Kilimanjaro, and Patrick Steenberge, Founder & President of Global Football, and author of the recently published TupandeKileleni: Lets Climb to the Summit Together, the story of the first Global Football game in Arusha.

For more information on Tanzania, visit




Hon. Prof. Jumanne A. Maghembe, MP, Tanzania's Minister for Natural Resources & Tourism, (left) presents Patty Key, CTC, High Point Travel, Dallas, Texas a door prize of painting from Tanzania at a packed Tanzania reception for the travel industry. More photos of USA Tour.

 The Hon. Prof. Jumanne A. Maghembe, MP, Tanzania's Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, led a delegation of eleven high level tourism officials on a promotional visit to the US recently. Receptions for leading travel agents and tour operators; meetings with prominent civic and business leaders, and media interviews were the cornerstone of the successful New York/Dallas/San Diego trip.

Tanzania, the largest country in East Africa, has long been a lure for American travelers.  In 2006, Americans accounted for 55,000 visitors - second only to travelers from Great Britain. The Hon. Prof Maghembe plans to increase that number to 150,000 in the next few years. To achieve his goal, he is implementing a sophisticated new integrated marketing and promotion program. The Hon. Minister's trip to the U.S. represents the launch of the promotional aspect of this plan: educating travel agents as well as consumers about the potential of "The Land of Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar."

Tourism is one of the key economic drivers in the Tanzania economy, second only to agriculture. In figures from 2006, tourism made up 17.2% of the country's GNP. Worldwide, tourism to Tanzania has increased 12% over its figures for 2006, now reaching approximately 700,000. Plans to boost tourism significantly through growth of the American market therefore make promotions geared to the travel and tourism sector essential.  

A prominent presence at key travel trade shows worldwide remains important in Tanzania's promotional mix. The New York Times Travel Show - the largest of its kind in the nation -- was therefore an important first stop for the delegation. The Tanzania exhibit attracted a constant flow of visitors Tanzania was also the only country featured at the show's panel about travel to Africa. 

At packed travel agent receptions in NY, Dallas and San Diego, presentations about the world-renowned wildlife and natural wonders, archeological monuments, rich cultural heritage and 1,000 miles of white sand Indian Ocean coastline in Tanzania were well received. Just as importantly, Americans are interested in learning that since its independence in 1961, Tanzania has enjoyed peace and stability in a democratic environment. Other attractions include Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa; the Serengeti, recently named the Seventh New Wonder of the World by USA Today and ABC-TV's Good Morning America; the Selous, world's largest Game Reserve; the Ngorongoro Crater, Olduvai Gorge (cradle of mankind), and the exotic spice islands of Zanzibar. More than 30% of the country is protected, with 14 national parks, 33 Game Reserves, and Saadani, the only marine/bush National Park in Africa. 

In New York, travel agents showed their enthusiasm about this fascinating country at a reception hosted by the Hon. Prof. Maghembe, featuring the Tanzania UN Ambassador, Dr. Augustine Mahiga, as a guest speaker. The reception was held in association with New York University's Africa House and the Africa Travel Association. Other highlights of the New York visit were a Seton Hall University Law School breakfast at the St. Regis hotel honoring the University's new Study Abroad Program in Zanzibar, Tanzania, and an investor lunch hosted by the NY Society for Security Analysts. Hon. Prof. Maghembe was interviewed by a roster of prestigious hotel and travel industry publications. 

Hon. Maghembe addressed a similar gathering of key travel professionals from the Dallas area. The delegation was also greeted at City Hall with a Letter of Welcome to the city. The Hon. Prof. Maghembe was interviewed on The Steve Cosgrove Radio Show and by the 'Top 10' newspaper (The Dallas Morning News).

California Sedtion

In San Diego, the delegation presented an Ebony tree from Tanzania to the Wild Animal Park, where they hosted an evening reception for travel agents.

Other key presentations were made at the San Diego Business Travel Association luncheon, San Diego University School of Hospitality, and Carefree Vacations. Bob Rauch, General Manager, Homesuites by Hilton Hotels in Del Mar, hosted a breakfast meeting during which the delegation presented an ebony carving to Scott Peters, San Diego City Council President.  Peter Mwenguo, Managing Director of the Tanzania Tourist Board, was interviewed by TV's Fox Morning News. TravelTalkRadio host Sandy Dhuyvetter featured interviews with the Tanzania delegation on two consecutive weekly shows, and featured Tanzania on her television travel segment on San Diego's top-rated channel 9. 

Travel to Tanzania from the U.S. is already increasing dramatically, and expectations are that this promotional tour will insure the goal of greatly multiplying the current visitor numbers.

For more information about Tanzania visit; in the US: The Bradford Group, (212) 447-0027; email