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Zanzibar to protect its No.1 industry – tourism
Government officials pledge their commitment to prioritizing the safety and security of Zanzibaris and tourists, at the Zanzibar Association’s Tourism Investor (ZATI) annual general meeting (AGM) on Saturday.
Guest of Honor, Minister of Finance, Mr Omar Yussuf Mzee, told investors that the “Governments objective is to increase the number of tourists visiting the islands, as the tourism sector currently accounts for 80 per cent of the isles’ foreign earnings. Tourism growth also means additional employment generation.’
Zanzibar gains 27%GDP, 80%FDI, and generates export earnings of about $USD 1.35bn in Tanzania and there are numerous linkages to the rest of the economy, providing opportunities for other sectors.
Despite recent security incidences that alarmed the people of Zanzibar, statistics presented at the AGM highlighted that the figures of direct tourist arrivals were at an all time high in 2013. Zanzibar received 181,301 tourists in 2013, in comparison to 169,223 in 2012. This does not account for the additional 250,000 tourists arriving from the mainland each year.
Mr Hamdani Omar, Commissioner of Police in Zanzibar, also voiced his commitment, reassuring investors that he is “working hard to make sure that there is peace and stability in the isles.”
Despite the challenges, the tourism industry has shown a remarkable capacity to adjust and is among the few sectors generating positive news for many economies.
ZATI Chairman, Mr Abdulsamad Said, appealed to the Government to set up strategies that support the sector and to deliver on their commitment to fair and sustainable growth.
Direct tourist arrivals by month | 2010 - 2013
Direct tourist arrivals by nationality & year | 1985 - 2013