Arusha — The government announced yesterday that doors are open for potential investors in the hospitality industry from Israel.
Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa said investors keen to put up hotels, lodges or engage in the travel and tours business would receive every necessary support from the government.
He added that deliberate efforts would be made to woo firms from the Middle East country to invest in the southern tourist circuit in order to unlock the latter's potential.
"Our number one priority now is to open up the southern circuit. Your investors are welcome," he said when flagging off 274 tourists from Israel at the Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA).
The group was part of over 1,000 tourists from there who jetted into the country on April 20. They visited tourist attractions in the northern circuit and Zanzibar.
The first batch returned home on Friday night while two plane loads of Israeli visitors were expected to jet off from KIA late yesterday. The 274 group left at mid-day.
The PM said one of the reasons why Tanzania re-opened an embassy in Tel Aviv was to attract investments and tap in the Israel travel market.
The mission was re-opened in 2017 and is credited with facilitating the increase of Israeli visitors from 36,640 to 50,000 projected this year.
According to the Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB), tourists from Israel were estimated to be only about 3,000 in 2011.
The increased to 4,635 in 2012 and more than tripled to 15,000 visitors by 2016. The Citizen could not obtain figures for arrivals for last year.
TTB managing director Devotha Mdhachi said this was the largest ever single group of visitors from Israel to Tanzania.
She told The Citizen that this could herald more charter flights bringing in tourists from Israel.
She added that the Israel travel market has been aligned with that of the equally potential Jordan and other Near East countries.
Ms Mdachi added that TTB would organise two activities in Tel Aviv, including a road show, before the end of the year to woo visitors from there.