Tourism Infrastructure And Tourism Development Tourism Essay



This section is a body of text that aims at reviewing the critical points of current situation including substantive findings as well as theoretical and methodological contributions to a particular topic. Wiersma, (1995) proposed that, the review of the literature provides the background and it should establish the need for the research and indicate that the writer is knowledgeable about the area. Wiersma, (1995:406).Therefore, the purpose of this chapter is to review the materials from different authors who have made contributions on the role of infrastructure facilities in tourism development. It includes theoretical literature/global literature which are studies on infrastructure and tourism from global perspective and empirical literatures which are studies done on the topic from Tanzania and in Africa region.


Despite infrastructure being an intrinsic part of tourism, there has been little research undertaken on the detailed relationships between tourism infrastructure and tourism development. Gearing et al (1974) study on the case of Turkey as a tourist destination found that infrastructure (comprising roads, water, electricity, safety services, health services, communications and public transportation) is a key determinant explaining tourist arrivals. Tang and Rochananond (1990) concluded that infrastructure is an important element in promoting Thailand as a tourist destination country. Kim, (2000) in discussing the case of Sun Lost City, South Africa, and McElroy (2003) in discussing small islands highlight the importance of infrastructure, particularly government financed infrastructure, in the success of a destination.

On the other hand, Murphy, Pritchard and Smith (2000) relate infrastructure to demand and supply analysis and describe how various components of the destination interact with tourists. Gunn, (1988) defines the product as a complex consumptive experience that results from a process in which tourists use multiple services (information, transportation, accommodation, and recreation). On the other hand, Smith, (1994) acknowledges the role of service infrastructure in creating a product experience. He argues that service infrastructure is housed within the larger macro-environment of the destination and that infrastructure and technology in a destination is key features that can enhance experience. (Smith 1994:51)

The importance of roads as one of infrastructure for tourism has been emphasized by Crouch and Ritchie, (1999) who analyze the product in the context of comparative and competitive advantage, they emphasized that, state that tourism planning and development would not be possible without roads, airports, harbors, electricity, sewage, and potable water. (Crouch and Ritchie, 1999). Kaul (1985) is among the first to recognize the importance of transport infrastructure as an essential component of successful development in that it induces the creation of new attractions and the growth of existing ones. The Tourism Task Force (2003) of Australia asserts that, transport is a big part of the equation. This system is responsible for connecting tourism-generating regions to destinations.

The connection between infrastructure and tourism is emphasized in numerous professional studies, which underline, on the one hand, the special role of tourism development in the infrastructure’s modernizing, and on the other hand, the reverse direction, the generation of multiplication effects of infrastructure development upon tourism Gunn and Var 2002; Eagles and McCool 2002). Today, the infrastructure development represents a preoccupation of the decision factors and specialists from almost all fields, for the elaboration of detailed plans regarding the infrastructure development, the transport infrastructure having an important role (Boers and Cottrell, 2007; Culbertson, et al, 1994; Beedasy and Whyatt 1999; McAdam 1999; Itami et al, 2002).

Generating multiplier effects is conditioned by the way relationships between infrastructure, tourism and local economies are managed, at the level of all decisional levels (Wells and Brandon 1992; Peptenatu et al, 2009; Kinnaird and Hall 1994; Milne, 1998; Belsky 1999; Swyngedouw, 2000; Drake, 1991; Teague, 1990; Milne and Ateljevic, 2001; Milne and Gill, 1998). In many professional works, the importance of infrastructure in the evolution of touristic phenomenon, especially from the qualitative point of view, is considered to be a determinant factor for the tourists’ satisfaction, this psychological state being the basis of a certain territorial competitiveness in this field (Alegre and Cladera, 2006; Crompton, 2003; Bigné et al., 2001; Kozak and Rimmington, 2000; Yoon and Uysal, 2005). In the professional literature, a special attention is given to the quantification of infrastructure role of all types in the tourism development within a space (Crotts and Pan, 2007; Petrick et al., 2006; Pritchard and Havitz, 2006; Ravenscroft and Rogers, 2003), as well as the elaboration of some complex standards for the appreciation of territorial systems’ idiosyncrasy at touristic development (Matzler and Sauerwein, 2002; Crompton, 2003; Jensen, 2004; Chan and Baum, 2007; Truong, 2005; Truong and Foster, 2006).

The development of touristic infrastructure supposes the elaboration of detailed territorial management plans, able to ensure balanced relationships between the territorial systems’ components, especially between infrastructure and economy, on the one hand, and the rural environment, which very often feels the development of touristic activities, on the other hand (Wiener, 2006; Weaver, 2001; Andersen & Miller, 2006; Christensen et al., 2007; Cottrell and Meisel, 2004; Garrod and Wilson, 2003; Cottrell and Graefe, 1997). The development of touristic infrastructure has a fundamental contribution to the increase of the complexity of touristic phenomenon, which contributes to the increase of functional complexity and territorial competitiveness. Infrastructure’s development attracts a series of activities, which accompany the touristic phenomenon, upstream and downstream (Bulbeck, 2005; Knight, 2005; Maneesha, 2006; Lovelock, 2008; Andereck et al, 2005).

Prideaux, (2000) argues that a destination should be easy to get to and easy to get around. Most tourists, being citizens of developed countries, are accustomed to modern and efficient transport infrastructure, and they expect to experience in the destination country comforts similar to home (Cohen 1979; Mo, Howard and Havitz 1993), failing which they will seek alternative destinations.


Tourism is one of Tanzania’s most important economic sectors, contributing 17% of GDP between 2003 and 2005, second only to agriculture’s 46% (MLYED, 2007). While tourism’s growth rate is difficult to separate out from the trade, hotels and restaurants sector in which it is classified, one estimate places its growth at 5.5% per year between 1998 and 2002 (World Bank/MIGA 2006), and a second at 7.4% per year between 2001 and 2006 (PHDR 2007). This contrasts to the agricultural sector whose growth rate has been declining as has its share of employment (from 84% in 2001 to 76% in 2006) and GDP (from 30% in 1998 to 25% in 2006).

The research conducted by Bashagi, and Muchapondwa, (2009) on assessment of the actions that could boost international tourism demand for Tanzania revealed that, tourist preference also has a significant impact on international tourism demand for Tanzania. The result implies a small proportion of tourists either return to the country or recommend the country to others. Since 81 percent of international arrivals to Tanzania are motivated by leisure, there is a need to improve tourism hospitality (customer service) to enhance tourist preference for the Tanzanian tourism experience. Some of the activities which could be undertaken in this regard would be the training of staff in the tourism industry, the improvement of tourism infrastructure such as roads and hotels, and aggressive marketing of Tanzanian tourism products to the world.

On the other hand, report submitted by Mitchell, and Faal, (2008) on making success work for the poor package tourism in Northern Tanzania revealed that, although the Northern Wildlife area is Tanzania’s major attraction, the unanimous opinion among both European and US tour operators is that it is becoming overcrowded, particularly in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. There are too few options for tour routes on the Northern Circuit – only one road in/out and very limited accommodation choice. (Faal, J. & Mitchell, J. (2008).

Research conducted by Williams S., (1998), concluded that, ‘like many developing countries, infrastructure in Tanzania is fragmented and is in urgent need of rehabilitation if the country’s development plans are to be achieved. Private investment (both foreign and domestic) in tourism is directly related to the availability of adequate infrastructure (roads, water supply, telecommunications and power supply) and the involvement of the Government of Tanzania in the provision of essential public infrastructure is crucial for the expansion of the tourism industry. (Williams S., (1998:14). Therefore, it is true to say that, the provision of the basic public infrastructure not only increases the flow of visitors to the various sites, but also lowers the operational costs of the hoteliers which will ultimately further enhance the attractiveness of the sites as tourist destinations.

In addition, the results of a public-private sector consensus building workshop held in Dar es salaam (2001) on the key challenges and opportunities regarding the tourism revealed that, tourism infrastructure was described as embracing such things as roads, airports, railways, Parking areas, water supply, power services and signage. It was emphasized that the way people get to Tanzania and the basic utilities available to them on arrival and during their stay could significantly affect Tanzania’s ability to attract tourists. The workshop ended by reaching consensus that, tourism services should include accommodation facilities, camping facilities, Restaurants, fuel stations, banking facilities, and other retail businesses and services in Tanzania that take care of tourist needs.


Having gone through the above literature, the study observed that, for tourist activities to flourish in the northern circuit there is a need for government and other stakeholders to invest more on tourism infrastructure facilities. For example, air ports/ airstrips, hotels and utility because this sector of the economy generates more income to the individuals, companies and a country in general. It is through tourism activities the problem of unemployment to the youths can be alleviated, that leads to per capital income of Tanzanians to increase through tourism and consequently national development increased foreign exchange earnings.

The researcher observed that, although tourism in Tanzania is mainly concentrated in the Northern Circuit, but also most of literatures concentrated much on one or two type of tourism infrastructure like road, accommodation, or communication and no one had said about the general role of infrastructures facilities like Road/Air transport, Accommodation, Communication as well as utility; such as water and power/electricity in tourism industry. The investigation of this study is supported by Tanzania tourism sector survey (2009), as shown in the figure bellow which developed to shows visitor’s views on the area of tourism attraction that need improvement.

Figure .1 Areas that need Improvement

Source: Tanzania Tourism Sector Survey, 2009.

The figure above show that the Tanzania Tourism sector took various views from selected number of respondents on the areas in the tourism sector that need to be improved, as a result, majority of respondents pointed infrastructure as an areas which need immediate improvement.(Tanzania Tourism Sector Survey, 2009:15). This aroused the interest of the researcher to assess the roles of all types of infrastructures on tourism development especially in the northern circuit.


According to Sekaran, (2002) theoretical frame work is the foundation on which the entire research project is based. “It is a logically developed, described, and elaborated network of associations among the variables deemed relevant to the problem situation and which have been identified through such process as interviews observations and literature survey”. (Sekaran, 2002:102).

Conceptual framework of this study has three types of variables namely; independent variable, moderating variable as well as dependent variable as they are illustrated in the figure 2.2 below.


Figure 2.2 A Schematic Diagram of the theoretical Framework of the thesisDEPENDENT VARIABLE






Source: Author, 2012

Independent variable

Independent variable in this study is tourism infrastructure, because these are the catalytic for trade, investment and growth in the tourism and other industries. The main four independent variables are – Transportation infrastructures, Accommodations infrastructures, communication infrastructures as well as utilities infrastructure. The mentioned infrastructures have been explained as follows;-

Transportation infrastructure. This encompasses roads, railway, airport/ airstrips, transport facilities (vehicles, wagons, aeroplane units and balloons). Easy access to tourism destinations in terms of international transport and facilities for easy movement within the destinations are generally considered to be prerequisites for the development of tourism.Transport infrastructure enable not only tourists to reach the park and go back to their destination, it also help to transport huge amounts of goods to tourist resorts, hence to reduce cost of services to tourist resorts.

Find Out How Can Help You!

Our academic experts are ready and waiting to assist with any writing project you may have. From simple essay plans, through to full dissertations, you can guarantee we have a service perfectly matched to your needs.

View our services

Good tourism infrastructures determine the length of stay of tourists in a particular area. Good infrastructure makes availability of goods and services for tourists become cheaper. Through the researcher’s observation on the services offered in the northern circuit, he concluded that, most services offered to tourist especially to the tourist resorts are very expensive due to difficult in transporting those services to resorts caused by poor loads.

Accommodation infrastructure. This includes hotels, restraints, and campsites. Good accommodation services to the tourists attract them to stay longer to the park hence increase national income of the hotel or campsite and the entire country. The absence of quality food, quality rooms, customer care and recreation in hotels discourage tourist to stay at a particular area of tourism destination (park). This statement has been supported by the study conducted by Okello and Yerian (2009) they concluded that “tourist satisfaction for all the parks is independent of tourist attractions, accommodation facilities, and tour services”. (Okello and Yerian (2009:15)

Communication system infrastructure. This includes communication networks through internets and telecommunication system. Reliable internet connections, the use of online payment as well as good telephone networks are the key issue for tourist attraction within the area. Most of international tourists pay their bills by using online methods like master cards as well as online checks, the presence of networking system in the parks will make tourist not to travel with money in their pockets as they do today, which is very risk for tourists.

Utility infrastructures. This utility infrastructure includes water supply and power supply. The adequate supply of electricity as well as clean water to the tourist sites is vital for the development of tourism because most of tourisms expect to get all services like in their home countries, things like warm swimming pools, laundry, dry-cleaning, lighting, entertainment including videos, television, radio, night clubs and elevators requires good flow of electricity in tourist destination. Good and pure water supply systems is one of the most important requirements for the development of tourism facilities is an adequate and continuous supply of safe water for drinking purposes as well as domestic and recreational use. Not only that, but also good waste disposal methods are good attractions for tourists.

The influence of infrastructure facilities on tourism development have also been emphasized by Crouch and Ritchie (2000) whereby they pointed various factors that are suitable for tourist attraction in a specific area that, various infrastructures like shopping, food services, travel services, transportation as well as accommodation services were regarded as catalysis for tourism development as the figure bellow shows:

Figure 2.3: Tourist Infrastructures

Source: Crouch and Ritchie, 2000.

Moderating variables

Tourism Policy

In this study, the moderating variable is Tanzania tourism policy of 1999, which was adopted in 1991 to provide the overall objectives and strategies necessary to ensure sustainable tourism development in the country. Knowing the potentiality of tourism sector, as a strategy for poverty alleviation, the National Tourism Policy of Tanzania was reviewed in 1999 to cope with the dynamism of the tourism industry.

The overall objective of the policy is to assist in efforts to promote the economy and livelihood of the people, essentially poverty alleviation through encouraging the development of sustainable and quality tourism that is culturally and socially acceptable, ecologically friendly. (URT, 1999:13)

According to this policy, it spells out that the private sector plays a major role in the tourism industry’s development, with the Government playing the catalytic role of providing and improving the infrastructure as well as providing a conducive climate for investment. The policy seeks to market Tanzania as a favoured tourism destination for touring. It is recognised that the private sector will play a major role in the tourist industry development, with the government playing the catalytic role of providing and improving the infrastructure as well as providing a conducive climate for investment. URT (1999:14).

Strategies for Tourism Development.

There have been various strategies spelt out by the Government of Tanzania as far as tourism industry is concerned, this have been insisted more after establishment of Tourism Master Plan (2002) which outlines strategies and programmes for the sector. The primary focus of this plan is to obtain sustainable benefits for the people of Tanzania by generating additional economic activity from available resources. Six primary areas addressed by the Integrated Tourism Master Plan are the following:

Creating greater awareness of Tanzania in the tourism source markets.

Expanding tourism products.

Securing a more competitive position.

Maximizing the necessary service skills.

Establishing the necessary structures and controls to underpin tourism development.

The tourist master plan (2002), spelt out what Tanzania offers to the tourism, these included abundance, diversity, reliability and visibility of wildlife, unspoiled environment and beautiful scenery, low tourist density, safe destination, beaches (Europeans), authenticity and the ‘unique African experience’, real Africa and cultural experiences as well as friendly people (Tourist Master plan 2002:24)

Having recognized the importance of infrastructure in tourism development, Tourist master plan (2002) has spelt out various infrastructure strategies targeted for investment such as roads, airports, utilities, as a prerequisite to investment in the tourism superstructure of hotels, lodges, camps, etc. (Tourist Master Plan 2002:76)

The tourist master plan spelt out that, “in order to further reduce the present dependence on Kenya as the main gateway for tourists to Tanzania, there is need to attract additional international flights to Kilimanjaro and Dar-es-Salaam international airports, and to improve the facilities at these airports; there is also a need to improve internal access by road, rail, air, boat to enable tourists to more easily visit parts of the country other than the Northern Wildlife Area”. (Tourist Master Plan 2002:76).

Dependent variable

The dependent variable in this study is the tourism development; for a country to develop its tourism industry, there must be variety of tourism attractions, Tanzania has variety of tourism attraction almost in every region, and the most blessed area is the northern circuit with Kilimanjaro Mountain, Ngorongoro crater, Serengeti national park, Arusha national park, Tarangire and Manyara. For these attractions to be fully utilized and increase national income there is a need for public sector investment on various infrastructures that facilitate tourism activities.

The importance of tourism cannot be under estimated because tourism industry is one of the main sources of national income in Tanzania. Performance of tourism industry in Tanzania increase every year, therefore for massive flow of tourism activities, Tanzania through the Ministry of Natural resources and tourism, should firstly improve and modernize infrastructure facilities before advertising various attractions to the international tourists.




Approximately 250 words