Tourism has potential to grow Zanzibar’s economy
- Nov 11, 2021
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- News and Events
President Dr. Hussein Ali Mwinyi, says the tourism sector has great potential to contribute to the social and economic growth of the country
Dr. Mwinyi made the sentiments last week at Kizimkazi village in Unguja South Region when he laid a foundation stone of the Loasis Beach Resort Hotel.
He said the tourism industry is one of the key priorities in his government considering that it has the potential to drive the country’s economy.
“The government philosophy is to see that the economy grows and that the country develops. It is for that reason that we are committed to revitalizing the tourism industry with the resources available within,” he said.
Dr. Mwinyi said the prioritization of the tourism sector is part of the creation of 300,000 jobs as he promised during last year's general elections campaign.
“We want to establish businesses that will employ the youth and businesses that will grow the country’s economy,” he said.
He said his administration has outlined plans that would improve the tourism sector which include the development of infrastructure to international standards in order to make the country’s tourism competitive.
The President added that potential investors have already started showing interest in the tourism sector, citing the 15million dollars Loasis Beach Resort project.
The President then thanked the management of Loasis Beach Resort for building a new five stars hotel, which he said, will improve the face of Kizimkazi and increase the volume of tourism.
He said despite the industry's instability due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the government has continued to take measures to reduce the impact of the disease on the economy and tourists.
"Thank God that there are signs of the disease declining rapidly and the tourism industry is returning to normal, however, there is a need to develop strategies to meet the new challenges that are emerging,” he said.
However, he called investors in the tourism sector to utilize local labour instead of foreigners because the country has potentially qualified people who can do the same work at the hotel.
"I urge you to hire Zanzibaris youth because they have proven that they have great potential to do the jobs," he said.
He, therefore, urged the Ministry of Tourism and Heritage and District and Regional Commissioners to create a conducive environment for investors in the sector and to ensure that villagers are involved in the investors’ plans.
Managing Director of Loasis Beach Resort Hotel, Ahmed Saber, said the hotel will give influence to the Zanzibari tourism industry and beyond.
He thanked the government for creating an enabling environment for the project to flourish.
PACE OF TOURISM IN ZANZIBAR
Tourism is on the rise on the East African Islands of Zanzibar but it is yet to reach its full potential.
The number of tourists has been increasing annually with strategies to strengthen the industry increasing.
For decades, tourism has been a leading sector of Zanzibar's economy, accounting for 27% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The industry has also created more than 100,000 jobs of which 33,000 are permanent.
According to the tourism report by the Office of Chief Government Statistician (OCGS), 342,816 visitors entered from October last year to September 2021.
“During the 12 months of Dr. Mwinyi’s administration, tourists mainly from European countries flocked the Zanzibar Spice Islands,” said an Official from the OCGS office.
The increase in tourists has been largely due to the increase in direct flights to Zanzibar.
There are 30 airports around the world that provide direct service to Zanzibar. The number is bigger compared to 12 airports during the pre-Covid-19 pandemic.
KLM from the Netherlands; Nord Wind, AZUR Air and Royal Flight and UTAir from Russia, SkyUp from Ukraine and Uganda Airlines, are among the many airlines flying directly to Zanzibar.
Europe-Zanzibar route has grown well in recent years, with 367,000 seats recorded in 2019.
NEW MODERN HOTELS
The launching of the five-star tour of the Zanzibar Golden Tulip Airport Hotel, located at the Abeid Amani Karume International Airport and the construction of other mega hotel projects of the Loasis Beach Resort Hotel, is proof of the existence of impressive investment policy.
In addition to those hotels, the construction of the hotel RIU at Nungwi tourism village and Emerald Zanzibar Resort and SPA in Matemwe is in full swing.
The Isles Minister of Tourism and Heritage, Lela Muhamed Mussa, told the Zanzibar Mail that Zanzibar continued to witness great change in the tourism sector during the 12 months of Dr. Mwinyi’s administration as of September 2021, 278,754 tourists visited the islands.
She added the expectation is to accommodate 515,000 tourists by the end of this year subject to the Covid-19 outbreak.
Looking to improve her tourist inflows, the Zanzibar Commission for Tourism (ZCT), a body mandated to sell Zanzibar tourism on behalf of the government, continues to promote the tourism industry abroad and ensures that the tourism act is adhered to.
The commission confirmed plans to implement changes that will spur reforms in the industry.
In order to ensure that the commission's action is properly observed, the ministry collects data related to the number of indigenous workers and foreigners engaged in the tourism industry.
Further, by February 2021, all tourism businesses will be verified and online registered and will be providing services in accordance with tourism laws and regulations.
“The system will increase the government and taxes related to the tourism industry,” the Minister said.
“By doing this you already ensure that people stay longer in Zanzibar than just a few days to see our historical site and endanger animals like Red Colobus Monkey,” she noted.
Mohammed Ramadhani, a tour guide commends the government move for strengthening the tourism industry.
Abdalla Juma Mohammed, ZTC Executive Secretary, said that among the government's strategies to strengthen the industry is to introduce new tourist attractions in various parts of Unguja and Pemba Islands.
Source: Zanzibar Mail