Zanzibar authorities have expressed optimism over full tourism recovery after the country welcomed 170 international tourists from South Africa last week.

Minister of Tourism and Heritage, Lela Mussa, welcomed the tourists at the Abeid Amani Karume International Airport where she thanked Africa Stay Company for organizing the trip and choosing Zanzibar as an important resort for the tourists.

She said the government will continue to improve the tourism environment by advertising the opportunities available in the country to attract more visitors, especially from the nontraditional European market.

According to the country’s official data, Zanzibar recorded 214,512 tourist arrivals from January to August 2021 which is almost half of the government’s target of receiving more than a million tourist arrivals by December.

 With the Covid-19 vaccination underway on the isles, the number of international tourists is expected to rise, leading to an increase in economic activities and growth prospects for 2021 severely affected by the pandemic.

Zanzibar Tourism Commission’s Executive Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Juma Abdalla, said that the number of international tourists visiting Zanzibar would gradually show more positive signs from the fourth quarter of this year, adding, it was encouraging that travelers were still choosing the country despite the pandemic.

He said the arrivals would stay in Zanzibar for a week and there will be weekly trips every Sunday and expected to increase in October and December.

According to the country’s official data, Zanzibar generated Sh69.1 billion ($29.893 million) in revenue in June 2021, compared to the Sh47.5 billion ($20.549 million) collected in the same period in 2020.

The total tourism revenue generated from hotel and restaurant levies, tour operator levy, revenue stamps, airport and seaport service charges, road development fund and petroleum levy amounted to Sh8.7 billion ($3.76 million).

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