Focus on Sports Tourism with 2010 Soccer World Cup in Africa

The completion of an ultra-modern, 60,000 capacity sports stadium in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, part of a new national sports complex, is expected to usher in an exciting and successful new era of sports tourism in Tanzania. The $56 million dollar stadium was funded largely by the government of China. Other facilities in the new national sports complex include the Main Stadium, Warming-up Ground, In-door Stadium, Sports Theater, Olympic Standard Swimming Pool, Sports Village/College and Training Grounds.

Begun two years ago, the stadium is the most spectacular in the region, built to the highest FIFA and Olympic specifications. The latest advanced technology was used in its construction by the Beijing Construction Engineering Group Company. Comfort for spectators and optimal conditions for players were paramount in the stadium's design and construction.

Timing of the Dar Es Salaam Stadium was predicated to coincide with the 2010 World Cup Tournament to be hosted by the Republic of South Africa. This selection represents the first time that the prized games will be played in Africa. Huge audiences throughout the world follow the World Cup, with sports tourism positively impacting not just the host country but the region. There are daily direct flights from South Africa to Tanzania for those who want to do pre or post game safaris to Tanzania.

"Dar Es Salaam, the commercial capital of East Africa, is an ideal place for this magnificent facility," comments Hon. Prof. Jumanne Maghembe, Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism. "The city has efficient transport systems and excellent accommodations and dining options. It will provide us with an excellent opportunity to host world sporting events in the future. It will also help our own Tanzanian teams, providing them with a competitive edge in world sports."

Peter Mwenguo, Managing Director of the Tanzania Tourism Board (TTB), predicts that the opportunities for sports tourism in Tanzania — a safe, friendly and democratic republic — can be monumental. "This year, tourism based on our famed tourist sites such as Mt. Kilimanjaro, the Serengeti, the Ngorongoro Crater, the Selous and the Spice Islands of Zanzibar, is expected to yield about $1 billion dollars to our economy "“ an increase e of $862 million from last year. With the new sports complex, we expect sports tourism to add significantly to this number in the years to come."

The stadium's outstanding features include the roof that extends inward covering uppermost seats. It offers good views without obstructions for fans and it helps to capture the roar of the crowd, heightening the drama and atmosphere in the stands.

There are 114 CCTV cameras fitted around the stadium, a lavish VIP lounge, 600 car parking spaces, public address system, an electronic scoreboard and five main gates.

Seats are numbered with each having enough legroom and there are separate zones for VIPs and members of the press. There are escalators in the VIP lounge to access the highest tiers.

Recently, the concept of Sports Tourism has represented major impetus in economic growth in many countries. More fans are willing and able to travel to see special and interesting games and players, and to visit other sites within the host country.

About Tanzania

Tanzania, the largest country in East Africa, is focused on wildlife conservation and sustainable tourism, with approximately 25 % of the land protected by the Government. It boasts 14 National Parks and 34 game reserves. It is the home of the tallest mountain in Africa, the legendary Mt. Kilimanjaro; The Serengeti, named in October, 2006, the New 7th Wonder of the World by USA Today and Good Morning America; the world acclaimed Ngorongoro Crater, often called the 8th Wonder of the World; Olduvai Gorge, the cradle of mankind: the Selous, the world's largest game reserve; Ruaha, now the largest National Park in East Africa; the spice islands of Zanzibar; and seven world Heritage Sites. Most important for tourism, the Tanzanian people are warm and friendly, speak English, although Kiswahili is the national language, and the country is an oasis of peace and stability with a democratic and stable government.