Zanzibar tourist arrivals are set to reach half a million by the end of this year. This is according to Zanzibar’s Minister of Information, Tourism and Heritage, Mahmoud Thabit Kombo, who spoke at Zanzibar Tourism Show.
“We are certain that by December we’re going to exceed the 2020 projection of 500 000 tourists,” he said, according to Tanzania’s Daily News.
Kombo said the island currently offered 8 721 rooms and would need around 5 000 more to cater for growing demand. In 2017, the island recorded visitor numbers of just over 433 000.
Speaking at the same event, Zanzibar’s President, Dr Ali Mohamed Shein, said the growth in the industry had translated to an increase in the GDP, of which tourism accounted for 27%. He added that tourism accounted for 80% of the island’s foreign earnings and that the average length of stay had increased from six days in 2013 to eight days in 2018.
The President said the government was working toward improving facilities on the island, creating a better experience for tourists. This includes installing security cameras in Stone Town as well as introducing the Zanzibar Urban Services Project, to improve access to services and preserve the island’s physical cultural heritage. The ZUSP has already given the Forodhani Gardens a facelift through major repairs to its embankments.