Arusha, Tanzania (eTN) – A local tour firm, Sunny Safaris Ltd, has struck a deal with Hungarian airline Malev to commence direct flight services from Europe to Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA), a renowned major gateway to Tanzania’s northern tourism circuit.
If all goes well, Tanzania will receive a minimum of 1,920 tourists from Europe come March 2008, a boost to both the northern tourism circuit and the KIA whose annual passenger traffic is currently estimated at 300,000 travelers.
According to the managing director of the Arusha-based Sunny Safaris Ltd, Firoz Suleman, the Malev airline will bring a total of 24 direct flights from Europe to KIA with a minimum 80 tourists onboard.
“This move is part of our vigorous effort to convince airlines which serves our dear clients to land directly to KIA, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere International Airport in Tanzania’s commercial city of Dar-es-salaam and Zanzibar to avoid inconvenience whenever there is a turbulent in our neighboring countries like now in Kenya,” Firoz said.
This is the second time for Sunny Safaris Ltd, to seal a deal of this kind by Hungarian airline. Last year, a total of 14 direct flights from Hungary had taxied at KIA carrying nearly 3,000 Hungarian visitors with intention to sample the northern zone attractions. Some had to extend their tour to Zanzibar, Firoz said, noting that the last year’s charter flight landed twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Available records available in Tanzania’s northern safari capital of Tanzania of Arusha indicate that before the move, the country used to receive as few as 900 visitors from Hungary.
Tanzania’s northern tourism safari capital of Arusha is often referred as a place where safaris to the famous national parks and other tourist attractions in the northern circuit, begin and end. The City is only 45 minutes drive from the Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA).
The town is characterized by a hive of arrival and departure activities as countless four-Wheel Drive safari vehicles load up with provisions and set off with their passengers (Tourists) into the endless, game-teeming plains of the mighty Serengeti, Tarangire, Manyara, Arusha and Kilimanjaro National Parks as well as Ngorongoro Crater.
Available figures from players in the tourism industry indicate that at least 80 per cent of 700,000 tourists visiting Tanzania annually head for the northern circuit which includes Arusha, Kilimanjaro, Manyara (Tarangire national park) and Mara (Serengeti National Park).
Elsewhere, figures also show that one third of all tourists coming to Tanzania visit Ngorongoro conservation area and Serengeti National Park alone. No other city is cashing on this multi-billion dollar business than Arusha.
Many hotels are being put up to cope with the rising number of foreign and local visitors to the area for conferences, business or to view the wildlife and other attractions.
Among them is ultra-modern hotel of Ngurdoto Mountain, New Arusha Hotel, Impala Hotel, New Safari Hotel, Eland Hotel, Dik Dik Hotel, Golden Rosse Hotel, Kibo Hotel, and East African all suites hotel, all are being located in Arusha town.
Hungary is located in central Europe, northwest of Romania- It has made the transition from a centrally planned to a market economy, with a per capita income one-half that of the Big Four European nations.
Hungary continues to demonstrate strong economic growth and acceded to the European Union in May 2004. The private sector accounts for over 80 percent of Gross Domestic Products (GDP). Foreign ownership of and investment in Hungarian firms are widespread, with cumulative foreign direct investment totaling more than $23 billion since 1989.
Hungary was part of the polyglot Austro-Hungarian Empire, which collapsed during World War I. The country fell under Communist rule following World War II. In 1956, a revolt and announced withdrawal from the Warsaw Pact were met with a massive military intervention by Moscow.
Under the leadership of Janos Kadar in 1968, Hungary began liberalizing its economy, introducing so-called “Goulash Communism.” Hungary held its first multiparty elections in 1990 and initiated a free market economy. It joined NATO in 1999 and the EU in 2004.