In Tanzania a unique UNESCO world heritage area was explored in order to identify the opportunities for an investment in a high-end sustainable cultural tourism lodge. This lodge would also serve as a flywheel for sustainable micro entrepreneurship in the region. On the eastern slopes of the Masai escarpment bordering the Great Rift Valley are natural rock shelters. Overhanging slabs of sedimentary rocks fragmented by rift faults, whose vertical planes have been used for rock paintings for at least two millennia. The spectacular collection of images from over 150 shelters over 2,336 km, many with high artistic value, displays sequences that provide a unique testimony to the changing socio-economic base of the area from hunter-gatherer to agro-pastoralist, and the beliefs and ideas associated with the different societies. Some of the shelters are still considered to have ritual associations with the people who live nearby, reflecting their beliefs, rituals and cosmological traditions. The site is adjacent to the Tarangire national game park. Both nature and cultural tourism can be combined for tourist.
Tags:integrated sustainable tourism / regional development / start-up business / Tanzania
100% Zomer was asked to perform a feasibility study with the various stakeholders, to develop a vision and business plan and lead a field visit in Tanzania.
When: June-December 2007
Who: Heshima Foundation NL co-founded by Mark Hillen and Annemarie Vellekoop. Mark Hillen was partner of Accenture NL at that time. Currently he is co-founder of Social Enterprise NL. Annemarie Vellekoop is now owner of a mini golf resort in Kenya.
Why: Heshima was already active in Tanzania in the NGO sector. The founders had a business and investment background in NL. Therefore they were interested to look into these opportunities also in Tanzania. They however lacked the business and investment experience in upcoming markets. Therefore they hired 100% Zomer.
100% Zomer succeeded to get a key manager at UNESCO World Heritage France interested in our plans. He arranged a meeting in Tanzania between 100% Zomer and the minister of Antiquities in Tanzania. The topic was to discuss possible investment opportunities.
Based on the above meeting the minister provided access to networks to be able to develop a thorough feasibility study for the potential investors.
100% Zomer interviewed various other stakeholders such as the Tanzanian Investment Centre.
100% Zomer developed a compact feasibility study. Afterwards 100% Zomer got a new assignment; to write a basic integrated sustainable business plan, which included also a financial plan.
100% Zomer coached the Dutch investors by phone, email and SMS during their independent field visits in the area.
Based on the feasibility study and the business plan 100% Zomer organized a joint field visit with the potential investors. We met various stakeholders from the government, the embassy, local communities and tourism.
Eventually the investment was not made. The investment company shifted its focus to the neighbor country Kenya. Which seemed, at that time, a more stable investment environment as Tanzania.