Tanzania: Zanzibar Tourists' Arrival Recovers Amid Covid-19 Effects

ZANZIBAR received 4,366 visitors last month, a 93.6 per cent decline from 68,163 tourist arrivals in the corresponding period-August 2019.

The Office of the Chief Government Statistician (OCGS) however described the trend as a great improvement in the midst of Covid- 19 as compared to 334, 197 and 353 guests received in April, May and June, respectively.

Unveiling the data here on Monday, OCGS Head of Statistics Department Abdul-Malik Bakar Ali said 2,694 visitors or 61.7 per cent of all arrivals in August 2020 were from Europe, with France accounting for 15 per cent of the total guests.

United States of America came second with 402 visitors or 9.2 per cent of all arrivals, said the statistician, adding that 3,362 guests or 77 per cent of all visitors entered the islands through the airport, with 23 per cent coming through the port.

The August visitors stayed for an average of nine days, with 73.8 per cent of the tourists staying for between one and seven days while 26.2 per cent of them remained in the country for over eight days.

Zanzibar received more women than men during the period under review, with records showing that there were 2,384 females or 54.6 per cent of all visitors.

The 15-64 year age group dominated with 89.6 per cent while the over 65 years old accounted for a mere 2.6 per cent.

State University of Zanzibar (SUZA) Lecturer Dr Estella Hassan described the new statistics as an indication of a bright future, hinting however that globally it might take up to four years for the tourism industry to recover fully.

"The main problem is that many countries which we rely on as our major markets remain under lockdown... but, gladly, efforts to promote Tanzania as a safe tourist destination have started paying off," argued the don.

Zanzibar received 538,264 visitors in 2019 and there were high prospects of receiving more tourists this year had it not been the out break of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has affected the sector that accounts for over 70 per cent of the country's economy.

The government, through CCM's 2015-2020 election manifesto, had anticipated 500,000 tourists by 2020 but the target was surpassed two years before, with 520,809 visitors received in 2018. Under the 2020-2025 election pledge, CCM anticipates 850,000 tourists by 2025.

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