(eTN) – The local airport, or rather in its present state – aerodrome, on Pemba Island is due for upgrading soon, the deputy minister in charge of infrastructure of the Zanzibar government announced last week. The airport will be getting improved lighting equipment, is set for the refurbishment and modernization of the passenger terminal building, and will have the runway extended to facilitate larger planes to land and take off from one of Tanzania’s favorite beach holiday destinations.
Tourism sources from Zanzibar expressed their cautious optimism over the plans with one regular source saying: “We have heard this promise before and will be happy to see some overdue action this time. An improved airport can only be good for tourism to Pemba, and the better our facilities the better we can compete with other Indian Ocean islands and Mombasa or Malindi. When larger planes can land in Pemba directly, we do not need boat transfers or use the small planes, and this will be good for tourist visitors, because they reach us in comfort and quickly.”
Pemba is presently the “lesser” of the Zanzibar islands but has its own unique appeal, is less crowded with resorts, and has maintained a more original flair in the absence of too many hotels and resorts. Some of the main activities for visitors, besides life in the resorts, are deep sea fishing, snorkeling, and diving, as well as other water sports.