Zanzibar targets to market itself as a single tourist destination
Looking to position itself as a tourist destination in East Africa, Zanzibar is now looking to create a tourist brand that would make the island attract more tourists to its Indian Ocean beaches and cultural and historical sites.
Launched last month, the new tourist marketing brand is aimed to expose Zanzibar as a single tourist destination on the Indian Ocean coast, banking on its tourist attractions across the island.
Zanzibar’s key tourists markets are Europe, North America, Southeast Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.
The Zanzibar Minister for Information, Tourism and Heritage, Mahmoud Thabit Kombo, said that the “Destination Marketing Brand” was launched in July of this year to market the island’s tourism as a key tourist destination in Africa.
He said that the Destination Marketing Brand targets to involve various tourist companies operating in Zanzibar, aimed at bringing them together to market Zanzibar tourism under an umbrella of destination Zanzibar, focusing on the island’s tourist attractions and services provided to the tourists.
“We are looking to launch a committee on Destination Marketing that will be an umbrella body to market our tourist products under a single roof as to pull more tourists to visit Zanzibar,” Mr. Kombo told eTurboNews.
He said that tourist companies on the island have been marketing their own services, mostly the international hotels which have been selling themselves more than products available in the island.
He said that Destination Marketing will mostly target international tourist markets across the world to attract more visitors to the island with marketing initiatives including the promotion of cultural festivals.
Competing with other Indian Ocean islands such a Seychelles, Reunion, Mauritius, and Zanzibar has at least 6,200 beds in 6 classes of accommodation.
Zanzibar President Dr. Ali Mohammed Shein had earlier said that his government was looking to boost security in key areas where foreign visitors prefer visiting.
He said that the number of tourist stays had increased from 6 to 8 days during the past 5 years, adding that conservation of key historical sites of the island’s Stone Town and the Indian Ocean beaches were key priorities of his government.
Tourism accounts for 27 percent of Zanzibar’s GDP and 80 percent of its foreign revenue gains.
Zanzibar launched last year annual tourism shows targeting to promote its tourism and the rest of Africa sharing the Indian Ocean waters. The Zanzibar Tourism Show will be taking place in September this year as the island targets to attract 650,000 visitors next year.
Under the Strategic Tourism Plan from 2015 to 2020, Zanzibar is looking to increase average length of stay from 8 days to 10 days, also tourist daily spending of $307 to $570 during the entire 10 days of visit to the island.
The Plan which is now under the implementation by both the Zanzibar government and private tourist stakeholders is looking to attract more tourists to extend their stay from 7 days to 10 days, also spending more money on the island.
The Plan also targets to achieve its objectives to pull more tourists to stay longer through marketing campaigns across the world that would attract visitors to visit new tourist attractive areas on the island which had once not been marketed at full force.
Zanzibar is also looking to compete with other East African destinations including Kenya by marketing itself as a Conference Tourism Destination, attracting foreign and international hotel investors and better airline connectivity with other East African countries.
Major Gulf carriers like Emirates, Flydubai, Qatar Airways, Oman Air, and Etihad, all of which fly frequently to Africa, are catalysts for development of beach tourism on the Indian Ocean coast.
With a population of about one million people, Zanzibar’s economy depends mostly on Indian Ocean resources and tourism and international trade.
The island has been a target for high-class tourists, competing closely with the Vanilla Islands made up of Seychelles, Mauritius, and the Maldives.
Cruise ship tourism is another source of tourist income to Zanzibar due to the island’s geographical position with its proximity in the Indian Ocean island ports of Durban (South Africa), Beira (Mozambique), and Mombasa on the Kenyan coast.