Tourism is defined by the United Nations World Tourism Organization as travel that involves staying away from normal place of residence for at least one night but not for ever a year in a person’s own country or abroad, with the purpose other than a permanent paid activity at the destination.
There are several reasons why people engage in tourism, but the major reason summarized by Wang is that tourism travel provides the tourist with “an alternative experience of time, i.e [sic] time off or holiday time, which appears as an alternative rhythm, free from the constraints of the daily tempo.” Therefore, tourism processes are geared towards maximizing the lifestyle experience there occurs a possibility of learning and gaining new knowledge and meaning from the process of travel as well as from the places visited.
The importance of tourism is evidenced by the increase in the number of people travelling yearly. According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization,698 million people travelled to a foreign country in 2000, representing a 25-fold increase from 1950 when the figure was 25 million. By 2003,some 2 million people crossed an International border each day, compared with only 69,000 in 1950.
According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) about one-fifth of these tourist travel to developing countries such as Zanzibar. It is expected that the number of tourists will increase to 1.56 billion per year by 2020 at the global growth rate of 4.1 percent per annum for the 1995-2020 period.
On other hand, the growth for Africa is estimated to be relatively higher at 5.1 percent per annum.
UNWTO figures outlined in the report show that International arrivals in 2020 dropped by 73 percent from the previous year, precipitating an estimated $ 1.3tn loss in export revenues and threatening up to 120 million direct jobs.
In June 2020 the Government of Zanzibar suspended tourism activities due to the COVID-19 outbreak. According to the Zanzibar office of chief Government Statistician show that from January to June this year, Zanzibar received 188,798 tourists which is the increase of 19,8 percent compared with the same period last year.
Most of visitors were from Europe(79.2 percent) as Russia(36.0 percent) led for the Zanzibar tourism market.
The number of tourists who visited Tanzania in 2019 climbed to 1.5 million, generating $2.5 billion for the economy.
Mr Ali Juma, the executive of Zanzibar tour Operators admitted that some of the visitors currently flocking to the sites had postponed their trips in 2020.
However, he said efforts being made by the government to aggressively promote the sector would boost the numbers and investments.
According to him, the Royal Tour film has added value in that it has opened gates for new investments in addition to the tourists.
The increasing number of tourists somehow correlated with the hotel bookings in Zanzibar, the country’s safari capital.
Ms Asha Juma, the sales and marketing manager of Kirungwe Palace Hotel, told the ZANJournal recently that bookings at the facility had risen by 50 percent.
There had also been increased landings by the global and regional carriers at AAKIA.
For instance, in June, this year,there were 921 flights arriving at the airport, which is 217 flights per week or 31 flights per day.
Currently, there are 17 airports in eight countries that have direct flights to AAKIA.