Zanzibar President, Ali Mohamed Shein will today officiate at the first Zanzibar Tourism Show, dubbed the ‘ultimate business event for domestic and international tourism industry’.
The show plays host to various destination venues and attractions dedicated exclusively to Zanzibar, Tanzania and African markets.
Speaking to reporters in Dar es Salaam recently, the Zanzibar Minister for Information, Tourism and Heritage, Mahmoud Thabit Kombo, said that the show will be held from today to Saturday.
More than 150 international and local tourist companies are expected to participate in the event where participants will have the opportunity to discover the valuable assets of Zanzibar, which possesses cultural heritage monuments and antiquities, as well as networking with hundreds of industry professionals.
They will also keep up-to-date with industry trends at the free seminars and tourism talks and developing the business into 2018 and beyond.
Kombo acknowledged the fact that tourism was a major pillar of the Isles economy, accounting for over 27 percent of Growth Domestic Product (GDP) in 2017 and more than 80 percent of total foreign exchange earnings.
The sector has been showing constant growth over the last ten years. The number of tourist arrivals registered an increase from 294,243 in 2010 to reach 433,474 in 2017.
Furthermore, the number of hotel establishments increased from 454 in 2017 to 473 in 2018, representing a hotel stock room of 8,721.
“Zanzibar is blessed with tourism assets that could be considered world class by any standard while various techniques and approaches have been employed to market these resources to the global tourism
Kombo mentioned efforts to ‘sell’ Zanzibar abroad as including attendance to international tourism shows, organizing roadshows, welcoming travel writers and conducting digital marketing.
He said the show will supplement existing fairs, including the Swahili International Expo, Karibu Fair, and others to increase the traffic of information about Zanzibar and Tanzania as a whole to the global tourism market.
‘’ZTS is a special platform, which connects the Zanzibar travel trade community to the global network of travel agents easily and instantly; it will also meet and forge closer relationship with industry players from Europe, Asia, Africa and the USA to mention but a few to get their support in selling packages to the Isles,’’ Kombo told reporters.
Speaking during the press briefing, the Executive Secretary of the Zanzibar Commission for Tourism, Dr Abdullah Mohamed, said that the theme for the first year’s ZTS is ‘Responsible Tourism for a Better and Greener Tomorrow’ He said the theme was a reflection of the long economic journey as mentioned in the Zanzibar Vision 2020 – in which the Isles would be promoting sustainable tourism.