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Zanzibar reconnects

November 30, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Zanzibar Tourism delegation, representative of the autonomous island region of Tanzania was in India last week to promote the new destination for Indian travellers. 

Mr Mahmoud Thabit Kombo, Minister for Information, Tourism and Heritage, Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar, said: “ Our main mission is awareness campaign. Our request to travel trade in India is to after thinking of all other popular destinations, think about Tanzania and think about Zanzibar. We want to reconnect our 800 year old historic relations with India.”

Indian traders were first traders to settle in Tanzania for fabric trade and started production of spices. Mr Kombo said “We’re called ‘Spice Island’ because of those Indian settlers who brought spices. We’ve to re-connect with that heritage. We have many Indian dishes in our cuisine. In fact, our national dish is ‘biryani’ and we also have ‘pulao’. Cinnamon, cloves and cardamom are our major exports. We have 18 temples dedicated to Indian gods.”

Minister urged travel agents and tour operators to create packages for Zanzibar. He said: “We’ve clean beaches, heritage, wildlife, unique crater lake with wildlife and Mt Kilimanjaro, the highest peak of Africa in Tanzania. It’s easy to sight big 5 in Tanzania. Once back in Zanzibar, we’ll work with 30 hoteliers to offer a very special package for India as an introductory offer. Well also talk to airlines to offer special fares.”

Endemic species in Tanzania include Red Colobus Monkey and mops. Rainforest of Jozani and Ngezi posses impressive biodiversity. Divers and snorkelers can find 549 species of sea life.

Indian travellers can avail Visa on Arrival facility, which costs $50 per person, on arrival in Zanzibar. Visitors to the region don’t require yellow fever vaccination. Zanzibar has  9 international hotel brands and a total room inventory of 10,000, ranging from $50 to $2800 per night.

Mr Kombo, Zanzibar Tourism Minister

There’s  been a long  association on the music front between two countries as well. Dr Amina A Issa, Deputy Principal Secretary, Zanzibar Ministry of Information, Tourism and Antiquities, said: “We have a special genre of music called Tarrab and its legendary singer was invited by Indian music companies way back in 1928 for a performance.”

Mr Kombo said: “Zanzibar celebrates 9 international festivals including Suati za Busara music festival, Zanzibar International Film Festival, a Jazz Festival and even a festival for Zorastrians, in which Indian participation is always there.”

Zanzibar Tourism has signed a contract with INOX theatres in India to run Zanzibar promotional video at every movie show. Zanzibar Tourism is represented by Jilesh Bala in India. It has also appointed two industry advisors Sheldon Santwan and Rajeev Duggal in India and plans to participate in travel trade shows and exhibitions in India.

Italian visitors are the highest, 200,000 of the total half million visitors to Zanzibar. Indian visitors numbers are currently negligible.

Mr Kombo said: “ We’re directly connected with India through Fly Dubai, Emirates, Oman Air, Ethiopian Airlines and Qatar Airways. Air Tanzania is also planning to connect very soon.”

Written by Anand & Madhura Katti

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