Zanzibar sets a track for tourism development


(eTN) – Famous for water sports, scuba diving, dolphin watching, and pristine sand beaches, Zanzibar Island is setting a track to attract more tourists through tourist spot villages to be established at key attractive beach sites.

Zanzibar President Dr. Ali Mohammed Shein said the island’s economy depends on tourism as its key economic sector. He said new plans to develop special tourist villages in the island were going on as an option to attract more tourists to the archipelago.

But, the island is lacking sound tourist investments to compete with Indian Ocean Island of Seychelles which had invested heavily on tourism marketing and investment, he said.

The Zanzibar President said he was optimistic to see the island achieve its economic goals through tourism and other sectors of the economy.

Zanzibar tourism, however, is made up mostly of pristine sand beaches, deep water diving, unique and rich multi-racial cultures, deep-sea fishing, scuba diving, dolphin watching and historical sites.

Tourism is currently the leading source of revenue to Zanzibar’s economy, injecting 27 percent to the isle’s gross domestic product (GDP), while generating 72 percent of the isle’s foreign currency.

The island has seen a remarkable growth in tourism, with optimism to attract more holidaymakers there. Its target is to attract high-class tourists to compete with other Indian Ocean island destinations, such as Seychelles, Mauritius, La Reunion and Maldives.

Zanzibar receives about 153,747 tourists per year, mostly from Italy and other European market outlets.

The Zanzibar government has last month launched a heritage center at the former slave market in historical Stone Town, targeting to increase the number of tourists in the isles.

Minister for Information, Tourism, Culture and Sports, Mr. Said Ali Mbarouk, said at the launch of the new heritage center that the development would boost tourism in Zanzibar. The three-year heritage center project is being implemented by the World Monuments Fund (WMF) and its partners, the Anglican Church of Tanzania, the Zanzibar Stone Town Heritage Society and the British charity, Christian Engineers in Development.

The cultural heritage site is significant for Zanzibar as well as the world, serving as a catalyst for the development of a stronger sense of community identity.