Tourism is one of the most important industries in Zanzibar representing 27% of ZNZ GDP, and 80% of foreign direct investment (FDI) opportunities (ZATI 2014). The modern tourism industry in Zanzibar started between 1990 – 1992 when the first new hotels were built. Numbers have increased ten-folds to over 200,000 tourists visiting Zanzibar in 2014. The increase in the tourism industry in Zanzibar corresponds with important economic, social and environmental changes, the effects of which have to be managed and implemented properly in order to ensure “pro-poor” growth and poverty alleviation among the locals.
“Pro-Poor Tourism” is characterized as providing net benefits to the poor by way of economic gain, employment, opportunities for small/medium-size enterprises (SMEs), and infrastructure, protection of natural and cultural resources (Rotarou, 2014). The tourism industry represents one of with a high potential for ‘pro-poor’ growth in emerging economies. For many reasons which have been repeatedly demonstrated internationally, the tourism sector can represent one with a high potential for pro-poor growth and options to meet development needs. Tourism has a broad base, is a labour-intensive industry and has low barriers to entry thus providing significant employment opportunities to unskilled and semi-skilled persons. Tourism tends to be is inclusive, as it leads to the employment of women and enables numerous commercial opportunities to small micro enterprises across all phases of development.
The tourism sector in Zanzibar contributes significantly to the local economy, including beyond the direct income and employment generated in the sector. Nearby communities, for instance, sell vegetables and fish to the hotels, while local businesses produce goods and services for the industry, sometimes selling these directly to visiting tourists. Such secondary effects of tourism expenditures are commonly referred to as the multiplier impact of tourism. Tourism in Zanzibar employs overall almost 45 000 people, which represents over 10% of the total currently employed population of Zanzibar.
One way for Best of Zanzibar intends to assist Zanzibar in its development and progress is to promote Pro-Poor Tourism through the employment, empowerment and utilization of the tourist industry to bring sustainable welfare to the people of Zanzibar.
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Utalii ni moja wapo ya sekta muhimu kisiwani Zanzibar, ikiwa ina changia uchumi wa Zanzibar kwa 27% na kuleta 80% ya uwekezaji wa kigeni. Utalii wa kisasa ulianza Zanzibar kati ya mwaka 1990 na 1992 wakati hoteli mpya za kimataifa zilipojengwa. Tangu hapo idadi ya wageni wanao tembelea kisiwa hiki imeongezeka maradufu, na mwaka 2014 watalii walofika Zanzibar ni zaidi ya 200,000. Ukuaji wa sekta ya utali unaenda sambamba na mabadiliko ya kiuchumi, kijamii na mazingira, na athari za mabadiliko haya yamezingatiwa ilikusaidia wananchi wenye kipato cha chini na kupunguza umasikini katika jamii.
Hatua za kuhakikisha kwamba wananchi wanafaidika kiuchumi kupitia ajira, biashara ndogo ndogo, uboreshwaji wa miundombinu, na ulinzi wa utamaduni na desturi za nchi zinafuatiliwa, zimewekwa na wizara husika. Kwa sababu utalii hauhitaji ujuzi mkubwa, hivyo unaleta fursa nyingi za ajira kwa watu wasio na elimu au ufundi maalum na kuwawezesha kupata kipato, vile vile utali hutoa ajira kwa wanawake pamoja na wanaume na kuwawezesha wajasiriamali wadogo wadogo kama wakulima wadogo na wavuvi. Sekta ya Utali huajiri karibia watu 45,000 sawa na 10% ya watu walio ajiriwa Zanzibar.
Best of Zanzibar inakusudia kuchangia katika maendeleo ya wananchi kupitia mradi wake na kuhakikisha Wazanzibari wanapata ajira na kuwawezesha wanawake na vijana katika kujikwamua kimaisha.