KIA mulls introducing direct flights from Greece

THE Kilimanjaro Airports Development Company (KADCO) is considering options of introducing direct flights from Greece at the Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) to keep pace with tourists arriving from the southeastern European country.

KADCO Managing Director Christine Mwakatobe described the envisioned plan as an opportunity of tapping the potential of the emerging tourism market.

“This is an opportunity we can capitalize on as many Greeks will frequently been visiting the country to sample our attractions,” explained Ms Mwakatobe, here on Friday.

The KADCO boss was speaking shortly after a Chartered Private Jet, G-XATV owned by Four Seasons Company, touched down at KIA, with 50 passengers on board.

Before arriving in Tanzania, the Greek tourists first visited India, and were en route Egypt.

“This is a historical moment for the airport, much as we’ve, for the time received a sheer number of tourists from Greece,” she said.

According to Rome2Rio, a door-to-door travel information and booking engine, the cheapest way to get from Greece to Tanzania costs around 940,000($378) and the quickest way takes just 12 hours.

For his part, a Ground Operator with Four Seasons, Manasse Kidaman said the Greek tourists were headed to Serengeti National Park.

“We feel very much excited to have safely brought these tourists to Tanzania, I’m sure that they will enjoy their stay in the wild,” he said.

Tanzania’s tourism sector is seeing a rebound after the Covid-19 pandemic—and the aspirations for its continued growth are high where, by 2025, the country hopes to reach 6 billion US dollars in tourism revenue, which assumes the influx of five million tourists annually.

Tanzania is a globally recognized destination for nature-based tourism, a competitive market segment in eastern and southern Africa.

The 2 billion US dollars a year sector offers Tanzania the long-term potential to create good jobs, generate foreign exchange earnings, provide revenue to support the preservation and maintenance of natural and cultural heritage, and expand the tax base to finance development expenditures and poverty-reduction efforts.

Recently, economists suggested that Tanzania diplomatic missions serving in Eastern Europe including Hungary should embark on rigorous promotion of economic diplomacy, to boost trade and investment, which are currently scanty.

Aside from Hungary, other countries are Belarus, Bulgaria, Greece, the Czech Republic, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Ukraine and the western part of the Russian Federation.

When President Samia Suluhu Hassan was briefing the media following the Hungarian President Katalin Novák working visit to Tanzania last month, she expressed concern over the low volume of bilateral investment and trade, which stood at 4.2 million US dollars (about 9.6bn/-) in 2022.

According to the economists, promotion of economic diplomacy will make known of the available opportunities found in Tanzania, making it easy for the international business community to tap into such potentials.

Commenting on this, a seasoned Economist-cum-Banker, Dr Hilderbrand Shayo recommended that the government could make use of its embassies in Europe to do the ground work, which includes economic intelligence to identify the kind of products and services found in Tanzania that could obtain a good market there.

While carrying out the marketing intelligence, he noted that the embassy’s representatives should seek crucial knowledge on issues related to quality and standards.

“Currently, these countries are in some cooperation with other countries on similar goals, therefore, for Tanzania to break in the market, it is crucial to conduct an assessment on issues of quality and standard of goods and services, which can be sourced from Tanzania,” said Dr Shayo.

The economist indicated that the feedback obtained from the assessment, will help Tanzanian producers and manufacturers to seize the opportunity to penetrate in the market and trade their goods and services.

Short of this, he said, it will be very difficult for products and services being generated from Tanzania to compete in the European market.

Dr Shayo revealed a study he carried out in 27 European Union countries between the years 2008 and 2009 titled ‘Market Penetration and Business Opportunity to penetrate the Market’.

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