Arusha — IN less than a month since over 300 tycoons from Australia toured the country's tourist attractions, another group of over 80 tourists from Switzerland yesterday flew off to Seychelles after spending three days in the tourist attractions in the northern circuit.
The tourists who jetted into Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) on Monday this week aboard a chartered Boeing 767 hailed the country's tourist attractions, including the magnificent Sengereti National Park and Ngorongoro.
Kilimanjaro Airports Development Company (Kadco) Acting Managing Director, Engineer Christopher Mukoma, said the renovation that includes the expansion of the airport has now started bearing fruit, with the landing of larger planes."
We sincerely thank President John Magufuli and the entire government for renovating this airport because the number of visitors who enter the country through this entry point has gone up and we expect to receive more visitors than we expected," Mr Mukoma said.
He said given the fact that this is off-season to most residents in the US, European and Asian countries, KIA is expected to be busy. "Tourists take a lot of considerations before deciding to tour a particular country.
Things like safety and security are highly weighed by tourists and fortunately, this airport guarantees all." He said tour operators who receive tourists normally provide them with all details of the airport ahead of their arrival. "
Basically they are satisfied with the standards of our airport because we gave them some questionnaires through which we got the feedback of what they think about our airport." Speaking on Ebola precautionary measures,
Mr Mukoma said the airport had already established a system to deal with the problem, including setting up a Walk- Through Scanner and a Hand Scanner to detect visitors with the signs of the killer disease.
Mr Mike Kirkland, a tour operator who led the tourists through his firm, said he had led tourists to various destinations for over 40 years. According to him, the tourists informed him that Tanzania had the most beautiful attractions compared to other countries that they had visited.
According to Mr Kirkland, his clients visited Iran, United Arab Emirates (UAE) before jetting into Kilimanjaro International Airport on Monday this week. After Seychelles, they will visit Zambia and Botswana, promising to bring in another group of 75 tourists from Australia in August this year.
A tourist, Ms Monica Peter, appreciated the beauty of Ngorongoro and Serengeti National Park, saying: "We went to Ngorongoro and then Serengeti where we saw a lot of animals. It was wonderful; we had a lovely time. The wildlife is quite astonishing. The people there are lovely and definitely we will come back."
Mr Amani Mwenera, an official from Coastal Aviation, said the tourists hired seven Sessna Caravan to ferry them from KIA to the attraction sites. Giving details on Ebola precautionary measures taken at the airport, KIA Principal Health Officer Charles Mwaipopo explained that after receiving information from the Ministry of Health on May 11,
they delivered the information to the KIA director so that a Public Health Emergency Plan could be activated. "We have met with stakeholders to sensitise them on our plan, including educating them on the signs of the deadly disease and the procedures for handling individuals detected with the signs," he said.
He said the plan included being vigilant with visitors from the neighbouring countries, with special attention to visitors from DR Congo. However, he said until yesterday, they had not encountered any individual or visitor with Ebola signs. The 'Daily News' yesterday witnessed passengers who disembarked from Ethiopian Airline at KIA undergoing Ebola screening.