Zanzibar marks fifty years of independence with tourism agenda – eTurboNews

Zanzibar marked fifty years of self-rule with tourism on its economic agenda.

Targeting tourism as the island’s major economic venture in forthcoming years, Zanzibar government has embarked a marshal plan aimed at pulling more tourists to this Indian Ocean tourist paradise.

The semi-autonomous archipelago celebrated its half-a century self-governance on Sunday, bringing its priorities to boost tourism and transport areas so as to attract more visitors to its warm beaches.

Zanzibar government has last month endorsed a marketing drive.

Targeting to raise the islands tourism profile, making the island to compete with other Indian Ocean islands.

The “Destination Zanzibar” drive is being implemented by Grassroots Traveler, a company based at the Island’s famous historical site of Stone Town.

When successful, then, Zanzibar will be positioned to compete with Seychelles, Maldives, Mauritius and La Reunion, the leading tourist islands in the Indian Ocean Rim.


Tourism growth in the island has been attributed by the increase of the number of tourist class hotels springing up in the island’s beaches of Nungwi, Stone Town and recently, the under-water hotel in Pemba, a twin island.

These high-class hotels and beach resorts have attracted prominent personalities including Bill Gates and His Highness the Aga Khan.

A total of 354 hotels and tourist guest houses, all with 7,421 room accommodating 14,076 beds have been established in the island since 1990 when tourism development took off in the island.

It is estimated that some 13,017 employees are currently working in the Island’s tourist sector, while 45,000 others are employed in other sectors directly connected to tourism. The aim of the Zanzibar government is to ensure that 50 percent of the island’s employees fall under the tourism sector come the year 2020, officials said.

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See also at Aga Khan Development Network org

Tourism Promotion Services

An underused and partially-abandoned building that once housed the government telecoms provider, Extelcom, as well as an adjoining building that was formerly a private home, have been converted by AKFED into the Zanzibar Serena Inn (foreground).

In Tanzania, the Network’s involvement in tourism began in 1993 with the establishment of Tourism Promotion Services (TPS). Operating under the brand name, Serena Hotels, TPS supports the building and managing of hotels, resorts and lodges that incorporate local cultural and architectural traditions, while stressing local sourcing and the development of human resources. In 1996, the first lodges were opened at Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro and Serengeti National Parks and Kirawira Luxury Tented Camp. Currently, Serena operates 10 tourism properties in Tanzania.

In Zanzibar, TPS embarked on the restoration of two historic buildings (The Chinese Doctor’s Residence and the Ex-Telcom House), with assistance from the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, to establish the Zanzibar Serena Inn. It has proven to be an important economic stimulus for the town, providing significant tax revenues to the municipality and directly employing 120 people.


Zanzibar Stone Town Projects

Azhar Park Project

Forodhani Park, the main public space in Stone Town, after restoration by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture.

The Trust has been active in Zanzibar since 1989, successfully completing the restoration of the Old Dispensary and the old Customs House, as well as the rehabilitation of Kelele Square. In all, eleven buildings in Stone Town – many of them on the point of collapse – were restored as part of a programme to demonstrate the building and restoration techniques needed to preserve this World Heritage Site. The Trust has also worked with the Government and international partners – such as the Government of Sweden and the Ford Foundation – to provide training workshops on conservation practice and traditional construction methods for craftsmen, building professionals and Government officers.

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