Zanzibar revenue collections hit Sh89.6 billion in January 2023, the major boost of which was increasing tax collections from tourism activities.

Bank of Tanzania (BoT) Economist, told Zanzibar Mail that tax collections from tourism and related activities, including hotels, restaurants, tour operator activities, stamp duty, airport and sea ports-grew by almost 100 percent compared to the same period last year.

He said the situation has increased foreign currency inflow in the country which has helped to stabilise the Tanzanian shilling against the US dollar.

Data from the Zanzibar Commission for Tourism (ZCT) show that the tourism sector contributes 30 percent of the isles’ economy.

About 63,813 tourists visited the Isles in January, up from the 66,720 and 42,443 tourists who arrived in December and January last year, respectively.

Italia took the top position with 10,338 visitors last year, representing 15.0 percent.

France followed with 12.6 percent, while New Zealand registered less than one percent.

According to the isles ministry of tourism, the plan is to increase the number to 825,000 tourist arrivals by the year-2025.

The sector is also leading in many projects, accounting for 60 percent of all investment projects that generated 220,000 direct jobs.

An official from the Office of the Chief Government Statistician (OCGS), said of 68,813 tourists, 65,715 equivalent to 95.4 percent entered through airports of whom 58,489 traveled direct from their respective countries to Zanzibar while 7,226 by domestic flights. The remaining   3,098 tourist arrivals entered through the seaport of whom 20 by cruise ship and 3,078 by sea ferries.

An official from the Zanzibar Commission for Tourism said international travel and tourism were the hardest hit by Covid-19 since 2020 and had been projected to rebound to pre-pandemic levels in 2023.

“Zanzibar witnessed a tremendous improvement in the year 2022, and is today on the right track in bouncing back from the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.

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