Arusha. The Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) has embarked on a new drive to attract more tourists from Israel.
This will include the board leading local tourism stakeholders to participate for the first time in the Israel Travel Market slated for next week in Tel Aviv.
“The main objective of our participation is to aggressively promote destination Tanzania,” said TTB managing director Devotha Mdachi. She noted that the event would enable the country to maximize its tourist potentials in Israel, one of the most advanced countries in the Middle East.
In addition, she said, the travel expo would help Tanzania to increase tourist numbers from Israel “to the level that will boost the national economy accrued from tourism.” In a span of a few years, Israel has shot to sixth position among leading tourist source markets for Tanzania, thanks to aggressive marketing. The United States continue to be a major contributer to the 1.3 million tourists visiting the country annually followed by the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and India.
Tourists from Israel were estimated to number about 3,000 in 2011, increasing to 4,635 in 2012 but more than tripled to 15,000 visitors by 2016. Two years ago (2017) tourists from Israel were 36,640, according to TTB. Estimates for 2018 and 2019 are 50,000 visitors.
Besides TTB, the two-day Israel Travel Market on Tuesday and Wednesday next week will also attract officials from the Tanzania National Parks (Tanapa) and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA).
About a dozen tour firms from the Mainland and Isles will be represented and include Udaay Safaris and Tours, Sun Tours and Safaris, African Queens Adventure, Xperience Tours and Travel, Chaka Camps.
Tanzania opened its embassy in Israel in May last year in a bid to attract more investments from the latter as well as promote visitors from there.
There has also been increased traffic between Tanzania and Israel as hundreds of Tanzanians travel there annually as pilgrims to the holy sites.
The tourist expo will be organized by International Mediterranean Travel Market (IMTM).
Other leading tourism source markets for Tanzania are France, China, the Netherlands, Canada and Australia.