After opening its doors for Israel tourists, former Israel Prime Minister Ehud Barak landed in Tanzania this week for a tourist mission to the premium northern wildlife parks.
Mr. Barak arrived at Kilimanjaro International Airport by Israel Air, accompanied by his personal visiting team and other tourists from the Christian Holy Land.
A few months after opening Israel’s visa-handling center in Dar es Salaam, and Tanzania’s intention to open up an embassy in Tel Aviv, tourism business between the two countries has opened its door with a group of 209 Israel tourists booked to visit northern Tanzania this month.
Some of the Israel tourists who flew together with Mr. Barak landed at Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) directly from Tel Aviv.
The Executive Secretary of the Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO), Mr. Sirili Akko, said Israel is now a new tourist market which Tanzania could exploit.
“Our association is looking ahead to attract Israelis to visit Tanzania tourist-attractive sites. Through direct flights to Kilimanjaro, the Israel national airline will create a milestone development to Tanzania’s northern tourist circuit,” Mr. Akko said.
TATO is a leading lobby and advocacy agency for a multi-billion-dollar tourism industry in Tanzania.
Tanzania has been among African countries attracting Israeli tourists who mostly prefer touring wildlife parks and Zanzibar.
The number of Israel tourists to Tanzania had increased from 3,007 in 2011 to 14,754 in 2015, according to data available from the Tanzania Tourist Board.
Tanzania President John Magufuli had expressed his intention to open the Tanzania embassy in Tel Aviv via a letter he addressed to Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his official visit in Uganda in July of last year.
Israel’s historical sites are the Christian holy places on the Mediterranean coast, the City of Jerusalem, Nazareth, Bethlehem, the Sea of Galilee, and the healing water and mud of the Dead Sea.
Israel still conducts its diplomatic relations with Tanzania via its Embassy in Kenya, and Tanzanians wishing to travel to Israel had to process their documents through Nairobi before the opening up of the visa handling center in Dar es Salaam.