Tanzania Daily News Dar es Salaam Zanzibar
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The tourism sector in Zanzibar is booming with increased number of arrivals which puts the Indian Ocean archipelago on track to meet Vision 2020 growth targets.

According to the Zanzibar Association of Tourism Investors (ZATI), tourists arrivals for half of 2016 had already exceed the number of arrivals recorded for the whole of 2015.

« We are on track for meeting the Vision 2020 target of reaching 500,000 tourists per year. What counts now is making sure that the Government listens to the private sector, » ZATI Chairman, Seif Miskry said in a statement.

He said there is a challenge for Zanzibar to remain competitive in the demanding tourism market by improving quality and address problems associated with taxation in the industry.

« We have to work together with the government to succeed in this goal, » he noted in a press statement issued yesterday. He applauded the recently concluded ZATI Tourism conference in Stone Town which attendees from both the private and public sector tourism stakeholder said it was a great success.

« The public sector and private sector went through a number of subjects, mostly concerned with the ease of doing business in Zanzibar, and now ZATI has a list of advocacy issues with which to follow up with the public sector over the next 12 months, on behalf of its members.

ZATI’s role is to represent the needs and interests of its membership to the public sector and so it is a key part of this is to bring the Government and the private sector together regularly. We have had such a good response from both sides, I am sure we will be repeating this event. »

He said the purpose of the conference was to re-launch a fresh new-look ZATI to coincide with the appointment of the new board, together with the publication of a new Zanzibar brochure, and bring together the tourism private sector for information sharing and discussions with the Zanzibar Government representatives on aspects of the tourism industry in Zanzibar and open up subjects for future dialogue.

There were 120 people attending from the private sector, including large and small hotels, tour operators, airlines and local businesses – both new and longterm investors, and both foreign and local investors.

He said the tourism sector of Zanzibar is one of the key areas driving towards Vision 2020 and Poverty Eradication. Tourism contributes more than 80 per cent foreign exchange in Zanzibar and provides the highest private sector employment. It enriches many of other industries including transport, communications, fisheries, farming, building, technology, and trading.

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