Tanzania has set its sights on the Israeli source market in a bid to boost international visitor numbers.

Last week, Tanzania Tourist Board invited a group of travel journalists, tour operators and an actor from Israel on a familiarisation tour of the destination.

The visitors toured Gombe National Park in Kigoma, which is home to 200 bird species as well as chimpanzees, leopards and hippos.

 “Israel is our new promising source market. We wanted to show our visitors our products which include flora and fauna,” said TTB Spokesman Geoffrey Tengeneza.

Former Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Barak, also recently visited the country. Barak and his group toured Tanzanian attractions such as the world-famous Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater and Olduvai Gorge.

After an exciting safari, the former PM promised to spread good news about Tanzania to attract more Israeli tourists.

Next month, TTB Managing Director, Devota Mdachi, is expected to visit Israel in efforts to market Tanzania and to meet Israeli tourism players, with the aim of promoting Tanzania.

TTB Chairman, Thomas Mihayo, said the marketing agency was reaching out to the Israeli market as it looked to increase international arrivals. He added that TTB aimed to meet its target of attracting three million international holidaymakers by the end of next year.

Last year, international arrivals to Tanzania rose to 1 284 279, up from 1 137 182 in 2015.

Last month the TTB offered five-year contracts to three international companies to market the country in key markets of Germany, the UK and the US. TTB will work with the firms to develop a marketing strategy that will see Tanzania receive more holidaymakers from the three traditional markets.