By Katare Mbashiru
The Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) has launched a robust strategy to market the local tourism sector in Israel, expressing confidence that it has enough funds to implement the initiative.
The TTB Chairman, Judge (rtd) Thomas Mihayo, said in Dar es Salaam yesterday that in implementing the new strategy, TTB had invited a team of journalists, officials from Israel’s Safari Company and an entertainment celebrity for a three day-tour of various tourist attractions so that they can be ambassadors of the Tanzanian tourism industry when they go back to their country.
“A team of ten people from Israel arrived in the country today (yesterday) morning aboard a direct private aircraft and already, our visitors are in Kigoma to visit the Gombe National Park which is popular in preserving Chimpanzee,” he said.
According to him, the visitors are expected to end their tour tomorrow and the government did not provide any funding for their visit. Their visit comes barely a week after former Israeli Prime Minister, Mr Ehud Barak, praised the government for the way it preserves the country’s tourist attractions.
Mr Barak, who led a group of over hundred Israeli tourists including his family, arrived in the country early last week for a tourism mission. During his tour, Mr Barak and his team visited Ngorongoro and Serengeti National Parks which are in the list of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.
According to Tanzania National Parks (Tanapa) Communications Manager, Mr Pascal Shelutete, the former Israeli Premier made a stopover at Olduvai Gorge on his way to Serengeti National Park, where he was met by Deputy Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Engineer Ramo Makani.
At the Olduvai Gorge, the most famous archaeological location in East Africa and the must visit for travellers to Ngorongoro and Serengeti national parks, Mr Barak said the area was very important because, as a cradle of mankind, it connects the early human being with the modern human generation. He toured the Olduvai Gorge Museum and expressed his admiration of the way the government was doing in conservation of historical and heritage sites such as Olduvai Gorge.
“The TTB was impressed by Mr Barak’s visit and he equally confessed to have been satisfied with his visit and his entire team, so this is something to be proud of as a country,” said Judge Mihayo.
According to the TTB chair, in 2014 and 2015, Tanzania received 7,355 and 14,754 respectively.
He added that with the establishment of an embassy and the latest appointment of the Tanzania Ambassador to Israel by President John Magufuli was a clear indication that the relationship between the two countries was progressing well. Last month, Dr Magufuli sworn-in Mr Job Massima as the new Tanzanian envoy to Israel.