Branding Committee launched in Zanzibar
Zanzibar has launched a national branding committee in tourism aimed to promote and market Zanzibar as a destination.
Launching the committee last week at the Zanzibar Park Hyatt hotel, The Minister of Information, Tourism and Heritage, Mr. Mahmoud Thabit Kombo, said the committee has been tasked to promote and market Zanzibar islands as potential tourist destinations. The committee is a groundbreaking group consisting of 26 prominent personalities in tourism.
“This is [a] milestone to [the] tourism industry as the first national committee to oversee direct national interests of [the] tourism industry is launched,” said Mr. Kombo, adding that since Zanzibar adopted liberalization of trade and accepted tourism as a second Forex earner, it didn’t have such a platform to promote tourism as one entity.
“We used to have everyone, each of us, promote and market Zanzibar in his/her own way. It was fragmented. This committee is strategically established and very focused,” said the Minister. The idea, floated by tourism stakeholders, strategically focuses to uplift Zanzibar’s international profile and make the destination more visible across the world.
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The committee is comprised of 26-plus tourism stakeholders drawn from both the public and private sectors with a commitment to excel in tourism and includes international investors and senior government planners.
Tourism plays an important role in placing Zanzibar’s economy on a sustainable inclusive growth trajectory and has demonstrated a higher growth rate than any other sector in Zanzibar. The tourism sector in Zanzibar performs strongly, and the trend is not only positive but also promising. The length of stay for tourists who visit Zanzibar has been increasing steadily, where currently it stands at 8 days compared to 6 days, 5 years ago, according to Zanzibar Commission for Tourism data made available for this purpose of publication.
Members of the committee interviewed after the launch said the Zanzibar National Branding Committee was long overdue since it was needed. “The branding committee is a roadmap towards achieving big results in tourism [at the] national and international [levels]. Zanzibar is a unique destination; it only needs a small push to achieve big results,” said Ali Suleiman Amour, a longtime local investor in tourism and also vice chairman of the Zanzibar Association of Tour Operators.
“The committee will give us a clear picture on what we are focusing to and our direction of promotion and marketing in and outside Zanzibar,” said Seif Miskry, Chairperson of the Zanzibar Tourism Investors (ZATI).
Tourism is one of the most important sectors in Zanzibar representing 27% of Zanzibar’s GDP. It employs overall almost 45,000 people, which represents over 10% of the total currently employed population of Zanzibar (446,130, Census 2012). This figure includes both Zanzibaris and non-Zanzibaris employed in jobs that are both directly and indirectly related to the tourism sector.
Since it started in full-swing in the early 90s, tourism has undoubtedly accelerated economic growth, trickled down the economic base by employing several youths, and broadened the tax base with handsomely stable revenue collections from taxes, collection from social securities, insurances, and the entire transport sector.
During this period, there have been new developments, notably the government’s commitment in achieving economic transformation through industrialization and technological advancements.
Branding in tourism has become a very powerful force and is necessary to monitor and promote tourist destinations as well as ensuring there is consistent monitoring of successful brands in the market to enable assessment of the potential need for any necessary design.
Zanzibar is famous for white sand beaches and a pristine environment which makes the country a leader for ecotourism.
Currently, Zanzibar tourism is expanding and growing very fast with a myriad of activities that visitors could coddle in, and being an island, beach sports feature strongly. Windsurfing (including kite surfing), snorkeling, dhow cruises, kayaking, parasailing, and stand-up paddle boarding can be enjoyed all year round.