Serengeti National Park, Mount Kilimanjaro and Ngorongoro Crater could be the top three destinations of choice for tourists who come to Tanzania.
However, when it comes to online searches it is Zanzibar Islands that tops the bill and the clicks.
A three months’ long study by the Tanzania Times team perusing various search engines including Bing, Google and Duck-Duck-go, reveals that the Islands are the favorite of people searching for information related to Tanzania or East Africa.
South Africans are the people who searched for Zanzibar a lot, followed by Italians.
Zanzibar, comprising of Unguja and Pemba Isles, accounts for nearly 35 percent of the destination searches recorded on the internet.
The Isles beat Dar-es-salaam which gets 27 percent of searches.
Arusha, which is the country’s Defacto Tourism capital, recorded 20 percent of total searches.
Mwanza, the rock dotted city on the shores of Lake Victoria, is getting 10 percent of the clicks.
Then comes the old, historical town of Bagamoyo, which manages to rake in 5 percent of all searches targeting destinations in Tanzania.
From the study, it is mostly foreigners, especially those in overseas countries who have been searching for Tanzanian destinations.
The number of Tanzanians who are connected to the internet in one way or another is surpassing 30 million, which is more than 50 percent of the country’s population.
That is as far as the figures are from the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) are concerned.
Clicks Trick or Trip
Still, most of the online destination searches usually arises from outside the country, mostly overseas and by people who plan to visit Tanzania and other East African countries.
Zanzibar tops internet searches, thanks to its beach tourism potential, historic stone town and popular annual events such as ‘Sauti za Busara,’ concerts and the Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF).
But Bing or Google searches do not necessarily mean the keyboard clickers transform into actual number of travelers who fly to East Africa.
Because, on the ground, the reality is Serengeti, Tarangire and Ngorongoro still get the lion share of tourists’ arrivals in Tanzania.
The Northern Circuit, which also features Africa’s highest peak on Mount Kilimanjaro, usually receives more than 80 percent of total number of all foreign visitors landing in Tanzania.
How Many Tourists Visit Zanzibar then?
On average, the entire country, with Isles included, receives 1.5 million inbound tourists per year.
A total of 395,000 tourists visited Zanzibar in the year 2021. The highest peak in the isles was in 2019 when the archipelago received nearly 540,000 tourists in the year, according to Statista.
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