Zanzibar President Dr Ali Mohamed Shein said this yesterday when speaking at the official opening of the Zanzibar Tourism Show 2018, under the them: “Responsible Tourism for a Better and Greener Tomorrow’
“The tourism sector in Zanzibar performs strongly, and the trend is not only positive but also promising. The length of stay for tourists who visit Zanzibar has been increasing steadily, where currently it stands at 8 days compared to 6 days, five years back,” said the President.
According to Dr Shein the increase in number of international tourists is equivalent to 15 per cent.
He said the growth is also visible in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) that accounts for 27 per cent as well as 80 per cent in the foreign exchange earnings.
He added that Zanzibar has been making huge efforts to link the growth of the tourism industry with other sectors through the ‘Tourism For All’ initiatives which was introduced four years ago.
Dr Shein explained that efforts are in line with the Zanzibar Strategy for Growth and Reduction of Poverty III (MKUZA III) which, among other things, emphasises on promoting competitive tourism and hospitality sectors.
“Our ultimate objective is to ensure that the tourism sector brings huge benefits and inclusive social prosperity,” he noted.
The President asserted that huge efforts have been taken to improve transport infrastructures whereby the Isles had an excellent road network which interconnects most of popular tourist resorts and historical sites.
- said the government is also taking measures to protect the environment calling upon tourism operators to embrace new technologies and sustainable practices to reduce the impact of their activities on the environment.
“Commitment towards the protection, preservation and conservation of the natural environment in the fight against climate change must become the topmost priority. You should adopt the 4 R’s principle, namely reduce, reuse, recycle and recover to better protect the environment and make judicious use of scarce and non-renewable resources,” Dr Shein said.
He said Zanzibar is lagging behind in practicing the 4 R’s principle over lack of appropriate plants for recycling process.
He said a series of initiatives towards climate change adaptation and mitigation has been taken to ensure sustainability of the tourism industry.
Some of the initiatives include the hotel development guidelines which emphasises the need for hoteliers to adopt eco-friendly practices such as use of energy-saving devices, use of renewable energy, composting, installation of recycling and desalination plants and rain water harvesting.
He said as part of efforts to promote cleanliness and security in the Stone Town, which is the popular tourist destination; the government has installed CCTV cameras at the area in October, 2018.
The camera according to him have greatly facilitated the process of sharing information among different administrative departments, utilising security resources and improved efficiency of controlling as well as responding to major incidents.
“Zanzibar town and its vicinities are safer for residents, investors and tourists,” he said adding the government is implementing the Zanzibar Urban Services Project (ZUSP) which is meant to improve access to urban services in Zanzibar and conserve the physical cultural heritage and environment in the Stone Town.
The ZUSP project has given Forodhani garden a facelift through major repairs of it its surrounding embankments, he said.