Tanzania: Zanzibar Bans Tourists Staying in Unregistered Houses

Zanzibar — ZANZIBAR government has banned the habit of some tourists of sleeping in unlicensed guest houses. The ban is also directed to some visitors fond of dressing unethically in public places.

"It is unfortunate that there are some tourists who rent houses or stay in guest houses that are unlicensed for the services. It is high time such deals are stopped because they deny the government of revenue."

Second Vice-President Hemed Suleiman Abdalla said Thursday in the House of Representatives. He said that all tourists are supposed to stay or live in official guest houses and hotels to avoid tax evasion, and for security reasons.

"Local people renting their houses or room to tourists illegally will also face punitive action," he said.

Speaking on unethical dressing, Mr Abdallah said Tanzania's traditional clothing and modesty were part of the dress codes tourists had to observe and respect while in the country, especially in public places.

"We encourage tourists to be respectful and follow all the local dressing regulations. Inappropriate clothing can lead to stern looks from local residents and clerics, and also may lead to severe legal consequences," Mr Abdalla said.

Zanzibar's economic growth relies heavily on tourism, which contributes about 27 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), but the authorities say that unethical dresses and behaviours by the visitors must be discouraged to preserve culture.

Mr Abdalla asked local authorities to advice tourists to obey land laws and respect the local culture, and that dressing guidelines were available from tour guides.

Meanwhile, Second Vice- President Hemed Suleiman Abdalla yesterday directed respective executives in the Ministry of Land and Settlement/Housing to find a solution to all land disputes in the country, issuing stern warning to all dishonest leaders behind land conflicts.

"We want to see no more land conflicts in the country. It is disappointing to learn that there are still some dishonest executives in public offices, including in local government who fuel land conflicts. We will not spare them," he said.

This (land conflict) was one of the key messages in his speech before moving a motion to adjourn the House of Representatives session to May 5.

He said the government no longer wanted to hear about land conflicts.

Other messages in his 22-minute speech before lawmakers' nod to accept the adjournment, include promises to maintain and strengthen war against abuse of children and women, and corruption with a plan to establish an anti-corruption and economic crime court.

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