Marketing heritage assets in the National Museums of Tanzania: a case of National Natural History Museum in Arusha.
Museums play an important role in promoting the tourism industry through their heritage assets and exhibitions. Shortage of funds to operate the daily activities of Museums has pushed these cultural institutions to function as economic markets where they must compete for the tourist dollar to remain economically sustainable. Museums must market their collections to generate their income to care for those collections and other maintenance expenses to survive and prosper into the changing global environment. This paper examines the needs, desires, interests and preferences of both domestic and international visitors and non-visitors which may affect their decision to visit the National Museums of Tanzania when visiting the country by taking the National Natural History Museum(NNHM) in Arusha as a case study. The paper employed mixed methods for research that included structured and semi-structured interviews and questionnaires conducted among the visitors and non-visitors of NNHM. The study findings were used to develop a strategic marketing plan and series of marketing strategies applicable to the National Museums of Tanzania to consequently increase visitation, profitability and improve the provided services.