Looking to compete with other Indian Ocean tourist islands, the spice island of Zanzibar is currently attracting regional and foreign airlines to fly there, hoping to welcome more visitors within Africa and from outside the continent.
In such a move, Zanzibar has attracted Zambian registered airline, Proflight, to fly its sky, hoping to attract more tourists from Southern Africa to pay visits to its exotic beaches, made up of warm Indian Ocean air and soft sands.
Proflight, a new generation of airlines flying in Southern African regional airspace had introduced a new through-service from Zambian capital of Lusaka to the spice island of Zanzibar, aiming at bringing together families to travel seamlessly from the Zambian capital to the beaches of Zanzibar.
Proflight, which flies three-times-a-week between Lusaka and Tanzania’s capital of Dar es Salaam, is rapidly making a mark on the regional aviation scene, airline officials said. The Lusaka to Dar es Salaam route was launched in October last year.
"Proflight service to Zanzibar is the latest destination in a strategy of steady route expansion from our hub in Lusaka, selectively adding new routes and offering a high quality value-for-money service to discerning travelers,” said Proflight Director of Government and Industry Affairs Capt. Philip Lemba.
In less than seven hours, travelers can find themselves transported from Lusaka to to one of the world’s premier beach holiday destinations - Zanzibar.
Zanzibar is an archipelago of islands in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Tanzania consisting of the main Zanzibar Island, Pemba Island and many smaller islands. Zanzibar Island itself is some 90 kilometers long and 30 kilometers wide.
Stone Town is Zanzibar’s vibrant capital and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site as one of the most unique cities in the world, in blending Moorish, Middle Eastern, Indian, and African traditions and architectures.
The island is rich in history. Known as the spice island, it was an important stop in the spice trade centuries ago, and now it is one of the few places in the world where saffron is produced, along with other spices such as cardamom, ginger, cloves and nutmeg.
The island’s beaches offer bright white sand and beautiful clear water for scuba diving, fishing, dhow boat rides, kite surfing, or simply relaxing.
The Zanzibar government is currently working closely with the private sector to improve marine transportation in order to improve the national economy through the tourism sector, which had seen an annual growth of 15 percent and contributed between 25 and 27 percent to the isle's gross domestic product.
Cruise shipping tourism is the other source of tourist income to Zanzibar due to the island's geographical position with its proximity in the Indian Ocean island states of Seychelles, Mauritius, Madagascar, and Mombasa on the Kenyan Coast of Mombasa, Malindi and Lamu.
The Zanzibar commission for tourism was founded in 1987 to promote Zanzibar as a tourist destination, and in 1992 the Zanzibar investment promotion agency was created to encourage overseas investment, particularly in tourism projects.
Tourism currently represents about 20 percent of Zanzibar's gross domestic product for tourism was founded in 1987 to promote Zanzibar as a tourist destination, and in 1992 the Zanzibar investment promotion agency was created to encourage overseas investment, particularly in tourism projects.
Recent data by the Zanzibar Tourism Commission showed tourism to increasingly becoming a leading economic sector in the island, providing 11,500 workers with direct employment and an additional 45,000 people engaged in tourist activities. The income from tourism is rising and it is expected to be Zanzibar's largest generator of foreign exchange within few years to come.