Tanzania targets 1,000 Israeli tourists

Tanzania expects to receive some 1,000 Israeli tourists over the next two weeks as the Covid-19 restriction eases globally.

The Tanzania Tourism Board (TTB), chairman, Justice Thomas Mihayo, said efforts to revive the sector had paid off after a long period of global travel restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The first of a group of 300 Israeli tourists will land at [Kilimanjaro International Airport] KIA this Saturday and followed by another group of 600 tourists next Saturday,” Mr Mihayo told reporters at the TTB premises in Dar es Salaam.

He said that the arrival of Israeli tourists is a clear message that the country has endowed itself with attractive sites.

The retired judge said the number of tourists visiting the country increased by 48.6% to 922,692 visitors last year, from 620,867 in 2020.

In addition, tourism revenue increased by US$1,254.4 million last year from US$714.59 million in 2020.

“The number of domestic tourists has also increased sharply and we look forward to further growth,” Mihayo said.

Recently, International Finance Corporation (IFC) consultant Dr. Josephat Kweka advised the country to make reforms that will allow the tourism sector to thrive both in terms of visitor numbers and revenue generation.

Some of the reforms are tax reforms, institutional or process reforms, royalties, licensing and inspection reforms. Others are labor reforms, regulatory reform.

Dar es Salaam-based Johari Rotana Hotel General Manager Mr JoergPotreck said the country needs to put in place a quick strategy to exploit the opportunity as the pandemic subsides when most people , especially in Europe, are looking for safari destinations.

Mr. Potreck said that with Covid-19 almost over, tourists were looking for new destinations, if Tanzania revamped it well to exploit this potential, it could reap many benefits to catalyze economic activities.

Tanzania is known for its vast expanses of wilderness. They include the plains of Serengeti National Park, a safari mecca populated by the “big five” game – elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino – and Kilimanjaro National Park, home to Africa‘s highest mountain.

Offshore are the tropical islands of Zanzibar, with Arabian influences, and Mafia, with a marine park home to whale sharks and coral reefs.

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