What you need to know:
- According to the Tourism Statistical Release No 73, Zanzibar recorded 548,503 arrivals in 2022, compared to 538,264 that was recorded in 2019.
- With an average of 1502 visitors entering the Island on a daily basis, December recorded the highest number of visitors with 66,720, other months that recorded high arrivals include July (58,157), August (61,388), October (57,547), and November (55,150).
Dar es Salaam. Zanzibar’s tourism sector has recorded a major rebound beyond figures recorded in the pre-pandemic days, a new reports shows.
According to the Tourism Statistical Release No 73, Zanzibar recorded 548,503 arrivals in 2022, compared to 538,264 that was recorded in 2019.
With an average of 1502 visitors entering the Island on a daily basis, December recorded the highest number of visitors with 66,720, other months that recorded high arrivals include July (58,157), August (61,388), October (57,547), and November (55,150).
Speaking to The Citizen, Zanzibar’s minister for Tourism and Heritage, Simai Mohammed Said, said that the deliberate decision by the United Republic of Tanzania not to lockdown the country played big role in the early rebound of the sector.
“We remained open as other parts of the world went into forced lockdowns, all we needed was to fulfil the airline requirements of having a PCR and at arrival we only tested for temperature,” he said.
This, in his view, though it attracted negative publicity in foreign media, it became a blessing in disguise because everyone wanted to know about Tanzania and Zanzibar in particular. He added that the rising numbers is due to the improvement of data collections at the point of entry which is the airport and seaport.
“These numbers could actually be higher than that because visitors coming from Tanzania-Mainland considered as locals, yet some end up in five-star hotels where they even stay more than European visitors,” said the tourism minister.
He said that if these are factored in the sector could be well above the targeted 850,000 annual arrivals given the fact Zanzibar remains the most favoured destination for people on the Mainland-Tanzania and East Africans who spend holidays such as Easter and Christmas on the isles.
The report which was prepared by the Office of Chief Government Statistician in collaboration with the Zanzibar Commission for Tourism and the Immigration department points towards a brighter future with January 2023 reaching record numbers.
The release shows that Zanzibar recorded 68,813 international visitors in January 2023 with tourists arriving from Italy outnumbering other parts of the world in the number of visitors, ousting both Poland and Ukraine who were on top in January 2022.
This was the highest number of visitors recorded by the isles in January since 2018 and also the highest monthly arrival in five years.
According to the report it is an increase of 62.1 percent compared with 42,443 visitors recorded in January 2022 and increased by 3.1 percent compared with 66,720 visitors recorded in the preceding month of December 2022.
The Italians accounted for 10,338 (15 percent) of the total arrivals which were mainly via the Abeid Amani Karume International Airport.
Italy was closely followed in the second slot by French who recorded 8,658 whereas Polish tourist stayed in the top five at number 3 with 6,102 arrivals.
Others on the top 10 arrivals include German (4,634), Scandinavian countries (3,588), British (2,615), Dutch, Czech Republic (2,293), United States of America (1,858) and Kenya (1,698) became the top African country in that descending order.
Tourists from Europe continued to dominate the market by accounting (81.9 percent) of the total visitors in January 2023.
The data shows that 65,715 visitors equivalent to 95.4 percent of the total visitors entered through Abeid Amani Karume International Airport, whereby 58,489 visitors of them entered by international flights and 7,226 by domestic flights.
“The remaining 3,098 visitors entered through seaport of whom 20 entered Pemba by Sea ferries from Kenya and 3,078 by Sea Ferries from Tanzania Mainland,” reads the report.
According to the report, the total of 701,189 bed-spaces was available in January 2023 of which 578,719 beds were sold during in January representing a bed occupancy rate of 82.5 percent.