Food Festival Brings New Aroma Over Stone Town

THIS year's Stone Town Food Festival has just ended amid repeated appeal for culture and local foods in relation to the tourism industry around the globe. Organisers say the festival was a success and the turnout was impressive.

At least 26 out of 32 tourist hotels/restaurants registered to take part in Zanzibar's famous Stone Town food festival which showcased mouth-watering selection of local dishes including sea foods, vegetables, fresh juice and many more.

"We were excited to sample on the local foods some of which we've never seen before," this has been a comment from many customers like Ms Shyma Seif Sharif from Mbweni who said promoting local foods was important.

The second Stone Town Food festival was held here from October 9th and ended last Saturday attracting many foreigners and residents, justifying its launch last year with the aim of boosting both domestic and foreign tourism. Some observers were of the opinion that many operators in the tourism industry have been concentrating on travel and accommodation, had often neglected the impact of local dishes on tourism.

The observers say that when tourists relish on a local dish, they do not only satisfy their hunger but also experience the local culture, and interact with their hosts as some tourists travel solely for gastronomy.

Based on studies and analyses on tourists' perceptions of local food, Zanzibar has become among developing countries now promoting local foods and culture to attract and increase the number of tourists.

The Minister for Information, Tourism, Culture, and Sports Mr Rashid Ali Juma said that the 'Stone Town Food Festival' was among government's strategies to increase the number of tourists on the islands, now heavily relying on the industry.

"We are happy to have food festivals, which are growing in numbers these days because of the government's initiatives to look for more options to attract local and foreign tourists," Mr Juma said.

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Source: All Africa