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Zanzibar broadens tourist appeal as minister unveils sustainability plan

Unguja. Zanzibar’s ministry of Tourism and Heritage is launching initiatives to showcase the island’s diverse offerings beyond the iconic Stone Town.

Minister Mudrick Ramadhan Soraga highlighted these efforts during the inauguration of the Azure project, a luxurious $10 million development featuring 54 villas in Michamvi.

Mr Soraga emphasised the need to highlight Zanzibar’s other attractions, such as ancient palaces, old museums, and island ruins.

Read:Zanzibar’s tourist arrivals surpass one-million mark 

“When people talk about Zanzibar, many mention Stone Town, but Stone Town is just one of the attractions we have,” he said, adding that many small islands have already begun attracting investment, ancient’ museums and old places of former sultans in various areas of the islands.

“All these are attractions that not many people are aware of, and as a ministry, we are committed to promoting these areas so that people can become aware of them,” he further added.

In a bid to improve tourism and environmental conservation, the government of Zanzibar, under his ministry, has introduced two key campaigns: The Greener Zanzibar and the Zanzibar Tourism Declaration.

Read: Stakeholders discuss sustainable tourism in Zanzibar

According to Mr Soraga, the Greener campaign aims to ensure that every hotel adheres to sustainable investment principles, focusing on clean water conservation, wastewater management, and sustainable electricity use.

“We also have a project called the Zanzibar Tourism Declaration, in collaboration with the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, focused on forest conservation and environmental preservation, such as avoiding the use of chemicals and practicing environmentally friendly farming methods,” added Mr Soraga.

Read: Tourism remains top priority in Zanzibar, says Mwinyi

On the same line, the founder and director of Azure, more than an investment project, Mr Nikitas Simion, emphasised sustainability as a core value.

“The Azure prioritises environmental stewardship, from protecting our oceans and mangroves to minimising energy consumption through solar power utilisation. Furthermore, community engagement lies at the heart of our project, offering employment opportunities and fostering local empowerment,” he shared.

The project, expected to be completed next year, is said to open up many opportunities for other investors in the country.

On the other hand, the regional commissioner of southern Unguja, Mr Ayoub Mohammed Mahamoud, underscored the importance of genuine collaborations between investors and locals.

“The time for being exploited and having our opportunities used without benefits is over. It is time to collaborate with people who have genuine intentions and real investment for the benefit of everyone,” he said.

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