Tanzania Woman

17 Critical Steps to Start a Tourism Business in Tanzania

I have briefly described all basic requirements needed to establish a tourism business in Tanzania. There may be other requirements and steps needed depending on the uniqueness of your business and or personal additional requirements that you need to add.

The article is mostly targeted to new participant in the business and or foreigners who had never invested or did business in Tanzania environments.

Step #1: Deciding to enter into tourism

Decision making for anything someone want to do always carries a lot of spiritual and mental preparedness to start and develop any project or task. Since there a lot of ups and downs to manage a tourism business your decision will make you persevere, cope and go through the challenge to the other side of success. Decision making involve committing resources, time and friends/partners towards the establishment and management of the project.

Step #2: SWOT analysis and Capacity building

It is a good idea to know the external and internal factors that will influence your business. For big businesses you can hire a legal consultant to do some legal systems opportunities and constraints that will probably hinder the existence of your tourism business in Tanzania. Alongside, the consultant will also scan the opportunities that exists and will probably favor the project nourishment.

The other part of your analysis is your or your partners’ strengths and weakness in doing the business. Get the relevant capacity building to the areas of weakness so that you are capable to handle all important areas of your business, issues like legal issues, marketing areas, logistics and tourism management and administration etc.

Step #3: Tourism market survey

Market survey is important to be done before the start of the business in order to know the following:

  1. How many tourists visit Tanzania per year at least in the past 3 years?
  2. How much in terms of US Dollars do they transact each year for the past 3 years?
  3. How many businesses are involved in doing tourism – the major ones?
  4. Where do you fit in?
  5. How will you fit in?
  6. ETC

Step #4: Office Establishment

The location for tourism business is simple because customers do not buy physical products and hence office is of less importance compared to the other businesses.

However, the office establishment will tremendously add value to reliability of your customers for the future goodwill of the business.

Please make sure the place where you will construct or rent an office will be easily reachable, secured and furnished with all necessary equipment and tools for tourism.

The availability of internet (now days fiber cable internet if possible), water and power is a mandatory requirement

Step #5: Business legal form selection and registration

Again, you will need a business consultant to help here if you are not experienced in this area. For many businesses, Company Limited by Share if the best option from legal perspective. To run a business under the form of company limited is secure to both parties, owners and customers. Because of registration and regulatory things, it is easier to monitor and locate the company compare to an individual. Like wise if for no reasons the company go bankrupt or involved with accidental judiciary case and or a customer or competitor filed a case for violating certain rights, it is probable the company assets will be confiscated and not the individual assets.

Step #6: Taxation

To know which tax, you pay or will pay in the near future of your business is very important so that you include in your business plan beforehand.

Below are some of the notable list of taxes: For more details please visit http://www.tra.go.tz website

  1. Income tax for small businesses and VAT for big businesses
  2. Corporate Tax
  3. Import tax if you intend to buy assets abroad
  4. Withholding tax for paying investment return or service fees
  5. Property Tax
  6. Vehicle tax
  7. Employee pension (10% of employee gross salary)
  8. Worker compensation funds (1% of the total salaries)
  9. Skills and Development Levy (SDL) (4.5% of employee gross salary)

Step #7: Insurance

Insurance for these areas is recommended

  • Professional liability insurance. -covers a business against negligence claims due to harm that results from mistakes or failure to perform
  • Property insurance. -Whether a business owns or leases its space, property insurance is a must. This insurance covers equipment, signage, inventory and furniture in the event of a fire, storm or theft
  • Workers’ compensation insurance. -This covers medical treatment, disability and death benefits in the event an employee is injured or dies as a result of his work with the business.
  • Home-based businesses. Ask for additional insurance from the Insurance company if you work from home to protect your home-based business
  • Vehicle insurance. Comprehensive insurance is optional but third-party insurance is a must to cover the security of legal passengers in the vehicle
  • Business interruption insurance. This covers the destruction caused by catastrophes which actually impact extremely in ability to work and get regular revenue – optional for small businesses

Step #8: Tourism Licensing

Doing tourism business in Tanzania requires some licenses to do the job

The licenses are

  1. An ordinary licences plus please read this page for more details – Business Licenses Requirements and Application
  2. A tour operator license elaborated and classified in the table below:

Tour Operator License (TALA)

Local tour operators Foreign tour operators
No of vehicles Annual fee in USD No of vehicles Annual fee in USD
1-3 500
4-10 2,000 10-30 5,000
11-50 3,000 31-50 7,500
51 and above 5,000 51 and above 10,000

The government authority responsible for license acquisition and related procedures is called

Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB)

Utalii House – Laibon street/Ali Hassan Mwinyi Road – Near French Embassy

P.O. Box 2485, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Email: md@tanzaniatourism.go.tz,  Email: info@tanzaniatourism.go.tz

Web: www.tanzaniatouristboard.go.tz

General +255 22 2664878/9

Step #9: Membership and Associations

Joining various well known association and membership institutions will add value and reliability to your tourism business

Major membership institutions in Tanzania, Africa and International ones are

Institution name and address Tel/Fax Website and email
Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO)

P. O Box 6162, Arusha, Tanzania.

PHONE / MOBILE +255272504188

FAX +255272506430




Zanzibar Association of Tourism Investors (ZATI)

Mjini Magharibi Unguja

P. O Box 2578, Zanzibar, Tanzania.

PHONE / MOBILE+255772823234





info@zati.org; chairmanzati@zati.org

Tourism Confederation of Tanzania

P. O Box 13837, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

PHONE / MOBILE+255222136177 / +255712889 281






Tanzania Association of Cultural Tourism Organizers (TACTO)

P.O Box 10455, Mianzinai 4th Floor Kwa Molel Towers, Arusha, Tanzania


+255 22 2163906/22 2163914-6

FAX+ 255 737 200 913







Tanzania Tour Guides Association (TTGA)

P. O Box 15272, Arusha, Tanzania



+255 713 338 411

FAX255 713 338 411


Intra-African Travel and Tourism Association (IATTA)

P. O Box 6541, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania


+255 754 368 677

FAX+255 22 2124 263







Tanzania Society of Travel Agents (TASOTA)

P. O Box 21338, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.


+255 784 325 849


+255 2115381, +255 2112786







Step #10: Business Plan Development and Financial Planning

It is now time to develop a business plan that covers these areas:

  1. Company/Business Description
  2. Product/Service Description
  3. Market and Competition Analysis
  4. Business Management Summary
  5. Project Implementation Plan
  6. Financial Projections
  7. Attachments to the Business Plan

Coming soon

Step #11: Staff Recruitment and Management

Step #12: Service Provider Scanning, Negotiation and Selection

Step #13: Tourism Product (itineraries) Design and Development,

Step #14: Corporate Terms of Services (booking terms, privacy policy and refund policy)

Step #15: Marketing and Market research (develop marketing programs and consumer research – An ongoing activities)

Step #16: Selling phase

Step #17: Business monitoring, evaluation/review and redesign

Mwisho (End):

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