Arusha. In a renewed bid to woo back visitors after the devastating impact of Covid-19, 140 tourists from Israel will jet into the country next month.
The contingent is one among several in the pipeline - thanks to robust marketing by the Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) in the Middle East tourists source-market.
“We are readying to attract huge groups of visitors this time from Asia, eastern Europe and the Middle East,” said Ms Devotha Mdachi, TTB managing director.
She told journalists at the Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) on Tuesday that a contingent of visitors from Israel will jet in on May 14.
Ms Mdachi said other groups from the Middle East country will follow in the coming months. In recent years, Tanzania has been receiving an average of 2,000 tourists from Israel each year.
The TTB chief said this when she was seeing off 15 travel agents and tourism photographers from Israel who were in the country to sample the attractions in the northern circuit.
Ms Mdachi said beside the traditional tourist source countries of Western Europe and North America, Tanzania is now focusing on new markets in Asia and Eastern Europe.
“There is a growing interest in Tanzania tourism in eastern Europe, northern Europe and Russia. The same is true for the Far East,” Ms Mdachi said.
She said promotion efforts were underway to woo visitors from within the African continent and that TTB was using the Tanzanian diplomatic missions to market the country.
“We are getting a lot of inquiries from travel agents in West Africa. There is a significant number of visitors from South Africa and from within the East African Community (EAC) bloc,” she said.
Mr Shlomo Carmel, an executive of Another World tour company in Israel told The Citizen that his firm would organise flights for 2,000 tourists from Israel to Tanzania this year.
The company is the largest selling destination in Africa in the Middle East country. He said Tanzania has lately become one of their preferred tourism destinations.
Ms Miri Eldar who works with the airport authority in Tel Aviv said they had been excited by the wildlife splendour in Serengeti National Park and the adjacent Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
“You have wonderful tourist attractions. Tanzania is also a safe country. What a wonderful experience”, she explained.
According to TTB, tourists from Israel were estimated to be only about 3,000 in 2011.
The number increased to 4,635 in 2012 and more than tripled to 15,000 visitors by 2016..
In a span of a few years, Israel has shot to the sixth position of the leading tourist source markets for Tanzania before the outbreak of the global pandemic Covid-19
The United States has been the leading source of about 1.5 million tourists visiting the country annually followed by the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and India.