ZATI Meets with The President
ZATI Meets with President of Zanzibar
Last week Board members of ZATI were invited to the State House for dialogue with HE President of Zanzibar and Chairman of the Revolutionary Council His Excellency Dr. Ali Mohammed Shein.
The meeting was held on Thursday 21st at a two hour session. Present at the meeting were also representatives from ZATI sister organization Zanzibar Association of Tourism Operators, plus the Chief Secretary of State. There was a further meeting with the Minister of Tourism in the afternoon where more detail was discussed.
The purpose of the meeting was to ensure that tourism as a subject is high on the agenda at the highest level of the government of Zanzibar. The President confirmed that tourism is the most important contributor to the economy of Zanzibar.
Subjects that were discussed included –
- Improved security and policing around the island for a safe Zanzibar for all.
- The airport renovations and the new runway which is now the longest in East Africa.
- Bridging the current skills gap by combining the tourism training facility with those of the State University of Zanzibar.
- Utilities – An update on the current infrastructure improvements to both water and power which is being assisted by the African Development Bank and other development organisations, will result in a better service for tourism in the future. New solutions are being sought to improve water supplies to Stone Town which are undergoing structural improvements in order to provide for the growing tourism industry.
- The Commission for Tourism have recently been revived by amendments to the Tourism Act and will be moving to new premises at the Old Fort in town in order to have a higher profile and to better serve the tourism industry.
ZATI has in the meantime produced a paper to be presented at the next Cabinet meeting outlining issues for attention, and the Ministry of Tourism will be seeking possible solutions to these matters.
His Excellency requested ZATI Board members to return to State House to continue this dialogue in one month’s time, and reiterated the Government’s commitment to supporting the tourism private sector.
Zanzibar is enjoying a strong tourism season so far this year. This is due to many direct arrivals during the successful annual African music festival last week “Sauti za Busara” – (“The Friendliest Festival on the Planet”) and the safari tourists who are visiting the island from the mainland of Tanzania after experiencing the wildebeest migration in the Serengeti.
The Ministry Of Tourism has in their press statement of 22nd February pointed out the following:
“Tourism has become a major driver of the Zanzibar economy, and the development of the Zanzibar economy and living standards (in terms of Growth Domestic Product per head) will continue to be heavily dependent on the performance of the tourism sector.
“Tourism has outperformed all other sectors by a large margin. Over the ten years period
2002 to 2012, tourism achieved an average growth rate of 6.8% yearly. As a result,
tourism has increased its share of Growth Domestic Product (GDP) from single digit in
2004 to just over 27% in 2012.
“We believe that this growth is a good start towards an evolutionary process of making
Zanzibar a point of tourism excellence and maintaining its position of global
competitiveness in tourism..
“.. It is the policy of the government to ensure the safety and security of tourists in the
country. The security mechanisms for foreigners and domestic tourists visiting,
working or temporarily residing in Zanzibar are in place..”
Zanzibar’s attraction as a tourism destination contributes to the increase of socio-economic benefits which can be derived from tourism.