TOURISM promotion by various stakeholders in and outside the country has continued paying off, as about 1,000 Israelis arrived in the country on a single day to visit national parks.
With a grand reception at Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA), about half the number of the tourists landed yesterday morning aboard two Israel Airlines planes and the rest followed in the afternoon and evening.
TTB Board of Directors Chairman, Judge (retired) Thomas Mihayo, TTB Managing Directress, Devotha Mdachi and other senior officials were present along with Kilimanjaro Airports Development Company (Kadco) Acting Managing Director, Christopher Mukoma and security organs, with Maasai men and women in their traditional attire entertaining the visitors with songs and dances.
Ms Mdachi said the coming of such a huge number of tourists from a single country on a single day was a result of TTB work, the Tanzanian Embassy in Israel and other stakeholders.
She said they have been marketing the country and its tourist attractions in and outside the country. “We are here at KIA on this wonderful and great day to receive our visitors from Israel.
As you can see, the two planes have brought some of them and in the afternoon another plane will land and again at 8pm the fourth one will bring some more.
It is a result of hard work we have been doing along with our embassy officials in Israel and other stakeholders. We are proud of this and we expect more visitors to come as we have already laid the foundation,” said Ms Mdachi.
She unveiled that statistics showed that about 40,000 Israelis had come for local tourism and that 150 others were in the country over the last seven days and were leaving yesterday, while those who jetted yesterday would be in the country for a week as well. Some of the places they will be visiting are Serengeti National Park and Lake Manyara National Park
. For his part, Judge Mihayo said TTB had embarked on a new plan that would earn the country a lot of foreign exchange, disclosing that TTB officials would be accompanying the tourists visiting the parks, taking notes and photos and later giving feedback to TTB to be worked upon, especially in case of any challenges or difficulties encountered.
He thanked the government for supporting TTB financially in its drive to market the country through advertisements and its move to procure new planes that would boost the sector of tourism.
He said there was in place proper arrangements for transport and accommodation of visitors, adding that businesspersons would also make money from the visit, calling upon them to utilise the opportunity.
“To local stakeholders, I tell them to be serious with the sector of tourism. It brings to us money. Do not temper with it. Tour operators, learn more languages – Chinese, Italian and Portuguese and make more money,” said the chairman.
Financial Attaché at the Tanzanian Embassy in Israel Fredierich Mwakitwange said he was happy with the success attained so far, saying they had been going from one place to another to market Tanzania in the sector of tourism by meeting officials, businesspersons, tour operators and distributing brochures that had tourism information.
Mr Mwakitwange noted that there were some other tourists, who would land in Zanzibar, but could not establish their number by then. He said next month they expected to bring 150 more visitors and 400 others would come in June.
He thanked TTB for collaboration, noting that Tanzania was the fifth spot in tourism in Israel after some countries in America, Europe and Asia, marking it as an unforgettable land.
An Israeli tourism agent, Ms Ronit Hershkovitz, said she was excited to have such a large number of tourists, citing peace and political stability in the country, unique people, cultures and nature as the magic of Tanzania.
“The magic of this place is its people, cultures, peace and nature. We are working closely with TTB to bring more Israelis in this land of milk and honey.
I am so excited and very proud of being part of this,” she said as the first plane was landing, adding that she was happy to see development Tanzania had achieved socially and economically.
A Tanzanian agent, whose share in the group was 100 tourists, Ms Alice Manumba, said her efforts had at last paid and got value for money, as she had been to Israel for exhibitions and other tourism activities and was able to get 100 tourists, who jetted off to the country yesterday. She called upon other agents to take a leaf from her as it pays.