Tanzania's new cable car plan on Mount Kilimanjaro will help to boost tourist numbers

Tanzania's new cable car plan on Mount Kilimanjaro will help to boost tourist numbers

Around 50,000 tourists climb Kilimanjaro every year. Tourism is considered to be the prime source of hard currency in Tanzania, known for its beaches, wildlife safaris and Mount Kilimanjaro, which has three volcanic cones and is nearly 5,000 metres high from its base.


Tanzania wants to improve tourist numbers by putting a cable car on Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s tallest mountain, and is in talks about the project with a Chinese and a Western company.


Constantine Kanyasu, the deputy minister for tourism, said, "a cable car could boost tourist numbers by 50 percent by providing access to the mountain for those who are not able to climb it."


Kanyasu told Reuters that "the country is conducting feasibility studies on possible routes at the moment to see if this project works. There are two companies that have shown interest, one from China and another from a Western country.”


He also affirmentioned that, “this won’t be the first time in the world, cable cars are there in Sweden, Italy, the Himalayas.”

Kanyasu continued that, the government was looking at business plans, capable investors and profits.


The length of the route has not been decided yet, with various options under consideration depending on cost and engineering issues, the minister said, "an environmental impact assessment would also be carried out."


Head of Tanzania Porters’ Organisation, Loishiye Mollel, said, "visitors normally spend a week climbing the mountain, so this cable car plan will help them to save their time and also have a better experience."


He also stated that, "we are of the view that the mountain should be left as it is.”


He further continued, "there are almost about 20,000 porters who are working between Mount Kilimanjaro and Meru, another mountain nearby."


Tanzania’s earnings from tourism bounced 7.13 percent last year, helped by an increase in arrivals from foreign visitors.


Tourism revenues have grown $2.43 billion for the year, up from $2.19 billion in 2017.