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Tanzania tops Tour Operators' Destination charts.

Five African destinations benefit from more than 75% market penetration amongst UK specialist tour operators, according to new research published by Tanzania Tourism in the UK.

From researching the websites of almost 200 specialist tour operators, it was apparent that the destination most widely offered was Tanzania with 87% coverage, with South Africa close behind on 85%. Kenya (84%), Botswana (81%) and Namibia (77%) make up the top five.

Tim Henshall, the Head of Tourism Marketing UK, based at Tanzania’s London High Commission, compiled the research over a two-week period. With market dynamics having been heavily impacted by the Covid pandemic, it proves fascinating to see how this has changed the exposure of certain destinations. 

For a tour operator to be deemed to offer a specific destination, it had to be openly displayed on their website. “Whilst certain operators may well offer a country if asked, we felt this didn’t constitute active promotion and therefore it didn’t count”.

Whilst 84% exposure is obviously good news for Tanzania (with the remaining 16% potentially being either Southern /South Africa exclusive), this does limit the opportunities for Tanzanian DMC / safaris operators to add new UK operators onto their partner lists. Tanzania is one of the few African destinations where the retention of two alternative DMCs is commonplace amongst UK operators. Henshall added that, “This should drive DMCs to look at new or niche activities to differentiate and to gain a foot in the door.”

The 87% distribution figure also relates to the entire Republic of Tanzania – with some listing Zanzibar as a separate destination (47% distribution), whilst some simply incorporated it under the Tanzania banner.

The research has provided Tanzania Tourism will a comprehensive list of those selling Tanzania, and equally those not, but it does not highlight the gap between those solely offering northern circuits on the mainland, versus those adding western and southern options. The plan is now to investigate this segmentation further.


“Encouraging more tour operators to sell Tanzania is not the priority, instead we are looking to widen the Tanzanian offer of our existing partners in the UK and to generally reinvigorate their passion for the destination as a whole”.

For more information, contact

Figures updated 20th May 2024


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