Unguja — INVESTORS in the hospitality industry here perceive the isles tourism industry as promising, with the number of tourists on the increase on annual basis. Hoteliers along Zanzibar beaches have told a team of journalists visiting various development projects registered in the past 50 years ahead of celebrations of revolution day in January next year that they are enjoying a lion's share of tourists.
A tour of Plan International Hotel also known as the Dream of Zanzibar and Hideaway of Nungwi Resort and Spa showed how Zanzibar has made a breakthrough in the industry with state of the art hotels.
The Hideaway of Nungwi Resort and Spa, East Africa Sales and Marketing Manager, Mr George Kiruku, said that the eight-month-old hotel has turned Nungwi into a place to be and improved the economy of people around.
"We have employed over 250 staff many of whom are coming from Zanzibar and others from Tanzania Mainland. There are only 15 foreigners working in this hotel," he said.
"Rates for our rooms here range from 205 to 4,000 US dollars per night and for the most of the time our hotel is fully booked. The business is good here and we enjoy investing in this beautiful Island," he said.
The Dream of Zanzibar Resort Manager, Mr Allan Ochsner, said his hotel was enjoying the business climate in the Island with many tourists preferring to stay with them. "Our hotel has 157 rooms but we receive up to 200 guests per day. We have been here for almost five years now and we are happy with the business," he said.
He added that the experience shows that the number of tourists visiting the hotel has kept on increasing, thanking the government for maintaining peace and tranquility.
"The hotel has employed 242 staff most of whom are locals (from Zanzibar and Mainland), our workers are doing a great job and are enjoying working with us," he said.
Sijali Komanya is one of the workers at the hotel, she works as a waitress in the hotel's bar near the beach and she said she was enjoying her work.
"Investors here are amusing and guests are also good, we enjoy working here and we are in a way sharpening our skills especially in language through interaction with foreigners," she said, adding that she speaks Italian, French and Germany.
Meanwhile, the hoteliers are facing shortage of some food stuffs, resorting to importation that makes some types of food expensive.
Mr Ochsner of the Dream of Zanzibar said that if the Isles would find strong investment in green house, would go a long way in answering the challenge.
The Zanzibar Tourism Commission (ZTC) Plan Officer, Dr Miraji Ukuti Ussi, commented on the matter saying that various talks were underway with farmers to increase quality and quantity of food production.
He added that investment in the agricultural sector was also a priority in the government's plans. Data have it that the sector contributes 80 per cent of the foreign currency and 27 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
SOURCE: By Abdulwakil Saiboko, 13 December 2013
Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)