AfricaPress-Tanzania: ZANZIBAR yesterday announced the resumption of tourism activities, including charter and scheduled flights that carry tourists.
Information, Tourism and Heritage Minister Mahmoud Thabit Kombo, speaking to reporters here, attributed the sector reopening to what he described as “the country’s great feats in the fight against the deadly corona virus.”
“I gladly wish to publicly declare the resumption of all tourism services, which were postponed on March 23, 2020 due to Covid-19…the situation has become good after achieving great successes in the fight against the fatal disease,” the minister said, inviting tourists from all corners to visit Zanzibar.
Minister Thabit said the government, through travelling agencies, had already communicated with tourist companies, which have positively received the invitation.
Before being allowed into the country, however, the potential visitors will be subjected to temperature tests.
The tourists will in addition have to secure international insurance cover for their entire stay in the country, said the minister, adding that the visitors will be required to wear facemasks while in the Isles.
However, the minister said all festivals and sports, which normally colour the tourism season, especially along the beaches and in villages, remain banned.
“As we remain vigilant against Covid-19, the government prohibits all festivities and marine tourism games, which attract over 50 people at once,” he said, noting that the government has formed a task force to patrol all areas for tourists.
People with nothing to do are not allowed at the beaches or Stone Town lest they disturb visitors on the pretext of guiding them.
We are aware of people who flock beaches and cause disturbances to tourists, sometimes begging for money…we are determined to deal with them,” warned the minister.
Zanzibar Commission for Tourism Chairman Sabah Saleh assured that the commission was well prepared to guarantee security to all visitors and maintain observance of all health guidelines.
“We appreciate the government decision to reopen the tourism industry, which had remained closed for over three months,” said the chairman, reminding hoteliers and travel agencies to get prepared for the tourist arrivals.
Zanzibar’s tourism sector was badly hurt by the outbreak of Covid-19, which led to the closure of over 150 tourist hotels in Unguja North and South due to lack of guests, with almost 500 employees forced into unpaid leaves.