Brighter future awaits Z’bar hospitality industry 

ZANZIBAR is poised to benefit from the increasing investments in the tourism industry along with the growing numbers of tourists’ arrivals.

Director General of the Zanzibar Investments Promotion Authority (ZIPA), Sharif Ali Sharif, said in a statement that tourism projects have increased from 22 in 2019 to 46 in 2021.

He said the projects have created a total of 5,784 employments by end of last year in the ratio of 1,515; 861; 2,247; and 1,161 in 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022, respectively.

Mr Sharif said the tourism projects are mainly in accommodation and food services activities, artistic works, entertainment and recreation and business with capital of more than 1.4 billion US dollars injected from 2019 to 2022.

“We are on track to achieve our goals in the tourism industry, the leading foreign currency earner,” Mr Sharif said.

The Minister for Tourism and Heritage, Mr Simai Mohamed Saidi, said Zanzibar has continued to grow, as far as tourism business is concerned.

He said that workable reforms which include friendly legislations in investments and improved infrastructures have been attracting both local and foreign investors and also attracting more tourists to visit the country.

The minister said that tourism still remains the main contributing sector to Zanzibar’s economy, contributing 29.2 per cent and over 80 per cent foreign earnings.

“Zanzibar has fully recovered quicker than expected and we have surpassed 538, 000 visitors of pre-Covid to over 540,000 post Covid-19,” he said.

He said the archipelago has seen an increase in visitors in February 2023 by 39 per cent compared to February last year, and the increase of investments translated to job creation.

“For instance, Emerald Zanzibar, a new hotel project opened this year, recruited over 300 staff of which 90 per cent are locals,” he said.

As regards to measures in place to control the spread of Marburg Virus Disease (MVD), the minister has assured the world that the situation has been contained by both the Union and Zanzibar governments by immediately deploying a first response team to Kagera Region.

He said that with lessons from the Covid-19 pandemic, Zanzibar has built resilience for its tourism industry by creating Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for all tourism operators to ensure they are adhering to international health and safety standards.

A national Covid-19 vaccine campaign was launched which saw a large number of the population being vaccinated.

The minister said that with an increasingly competitive landscape and increasing travel destinations, Zanzibar is positioning itself to remain a destination of choice, and that rebranding efforts are underway which will highlight the archipelago’s unique characteristics such as cultural heritage in addition to the exotic white sandy beaches.

The rebranding will also involve the use of technology to advance existing tourism products and services.

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