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Zanzibar bans tourist charter flights, closes all tourist hotels

Zanzibar bans tourist charter flights, shuts down all tourist hotels

Indian Ocean tourist island of Zanzibar has restricted tourist charter flights carrying visitors to the island, then announced the shutting down of all tourist hotels, as a protective measure to control the spread of Coronavirus.

Russian tourist charter plane that was expected to land in Zanzibar with 506 tourists on Sunday has been banned from flying there, less than two weeks after the Zanzibar government stopped Italian tourist charter flight from landing on the Island.

Zanzibar authorities had announced on Friday, the shutting down of all 478 tourist hotels to control the spread of COVID-19 pandemic on the Island.

Zanzibar’s Minister of Information, Tourism and Heritage, Mahmoud Thabit Kombo, said that 95% of the 478 tourist hotels, ranging from one star to five stars, have already been closed in Zanzibar’s twin Island of Pemba and the main Island of Unguja.

The Island’s tourism minister further said that more tourist hotels will be closed this weekend after the departure of tourists who are currently staying in the hotels.

Zanzibar authorities have taken such bold decisions to prevent the spread of the deadly the virus on the island.  They announced that all tourist hotels will remain closed until the virus is contained after the Island reported the first case of the COVID-19 on Wednesday.

Tourism accounts for 27 percent of Zanzibar’s gross domestic product (GDP), 80 percent of foreign revenue and provides the highest private sector employment.