FRANCE has been ranked the top international tourist market for Zanzibar in October despite challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.
A report entitled, "Tourism Statistical Release for October 2020", reveals that, visitors from France flock to the country despite the novel virus, as in September this year there were 836 visitors compared to October which witnessed a surge of up to 2,077 visitors.
"Zanzibar has received 12,157 visitors in October this year, compared to 5,422 visitors that entered the country in September," reads part of the report released by the office of the Chief Government Statistician, Zanzibar Commission for Tourism.
According to the report, Europe continues dominating the Zanzibar market by accounting for 73.5 per cent of the total visitors in October this year.
It shows that 10,172 visitors entered the country through airports, among them 7,317 visitors came by international flights and 2,855 by domestic flights and the remaining 1,985 visitors used sea ferries.
However, the report notes that "Zanzibar has received 182,922 visitors from January to October this year, which is a decrease of 54.7 per cent compared to corresponding months in 2019."
For the first 10 months of this year, the report shows that most visitors came from Europe (69.5 per cent), while country wise Italy led with more tourists totalling 20,220 (equivalent to 11.1 per cent).
The report further reveals that 99.5 per cent of the tourists who visited the country in October alone came for holidays, while the remaining 0.2 per cent came for other purposes, like visiting relatives and friends.
Recently, France was ranked the top international tourist market for Tanzania in terms of the number of tourist arrivals in the country for the months of July, August and September after the country re-opened its skies for travel.
Tanzania reopened its airspace for international passenger flights on June 1, this year, after a 3-month stint of Covid-19, becoming the pioneer country in East Africa to welcome tourists to visit its endowed attractions.
Tanzania National Parks Authority (Tanapa) Assistant Conservation Commissioner in charge of the business portfolio Beatrice Kessy and Tanzanian Ambassador to France Samwel Shelukindo spoke to France-based Global Industry Travel News (eTurboNews), explaining why France snatched the top slot in terms of the number of tourist arrivals.
According to Ms Kessy, records show that 3,062 French tourists visited national parks in the period under review, raising the French flag high as the top international tourist market for Tanzania amidst the crisis, overtaking the USA with 2,327 holidaymakers.
The third on the list of key Tanzania tourist source markets is Germany with 1,317 visitors, followed by the UK with 1,051 tourists in fourth position.
Spain, in fifth spot, has supplied Tanzania with 1,050 holidaymakers, trailed by India with 844 travellers who visited the country's tourist attractions.