Tanzania: Hope As Number of Tourist Arrivals in Zanzibar Climbs

The number of tourists visiting Zanzibar is on the increase.

This has rekindled the hope that the Indian Ocean archipelago will meet its goal of attracting 500,000 visitors by the year 2020.

Zanzibar Association of Tourism Investors (Zati) chairman Seif Miskry said here yesterday that so far, arrivals for the first half of 2016 have already exceeded the number that was attained for the entire 2015.

"We are on track for meeting the Vision 2020 target. What counts now is making sure that the government listens to the private sector," he said.

He said Zati represents the industry and therefore, it knows the needs of overseas guests and what their expectations while in Zanzibar.

"We also know what attention the tourism industry needs to remain competitive and to survive. We've to work together with the government to succeed in this goal," he noted in a press statement issued yesterday.

Recently, tourism stakeholders - from both the public and private sectors - met in Zanzibar under the auspices of the Zati Tourism Conference.

According to Mr Miskry, the conference discussed all pertinent issues that are key to development the tourism sector in the semi-autonomous island.

"The public and sectors went through a number of subjects, mostly concerned with the ease of doing business in Zanzibar. Zati has a list of advocacy issues with which to follow up with the public sector over the next 12 months," he said.

Tourism is the most important industry for Zanzibar, and regular multi-sector dialogue assists the sector in keeping abreast of all the issues, and anticipating future trends.

He said the purpose of the conference was to re-launch a fresh new-look Zati to coincide with the appointment of the new board, together with the publication of a new Zanzibar brochure, and bring together the tourism private sector for information sharing and discussions with the Zanzibar Government.