What is ZATI?

The Zanzibar Association of Tourism Investors (ZATI) advocates for a sustainable and responsible tourism industry – and is in its 17th successful year as the voice of the tourism private sector. It is a non-governmental, non-religious, and non-political organisation, established to represent the interests of all tourism investors in Zanzibar. It is managed by an executive board of twelve members, a Director, an administration assistant, and guided by a board of trustees and an honorary board. The office is based in the historic Old Dispensary building, room 2-15, in Malindi, Stonetown, Zanzibar.
Our mission statement -
ZATI is a community of tourism businesses that aims to be a force for developing responsible and sustainable tourism in Zanzibar. It provides support for its members and works in partnership with the Government to achieve this goal.

ZATI has had around 100 members, and broadened its base to encompass more tourism support industries, more Zanzibar-owned hotels and tour companies, and encouraged smaller businesses and wider geographical spread around the island. Members represent all areas of the tourism sector including hotels, restaurants, tour operators, airlines, wholesale suppliers, fashion, and souvenir retail gift shops, printers and publishers, healthcare, security and business services.
How can I become a ZATI member? ZATI asks of its members that they offer a quality tourism product in their field of expertise, uphold high standards of business ethics, respect the customs of Zanzibar, follow all labour, fiscal and environmental regulation, and where possible actively buy locally and employ locally by encouraging projects that involve or benefit their local community. Annual membership is offered to Zanzibar registered companies operating in the tourism sector, holding valid business licenses issued by the Government, and are registered with the TRA and ZRB. Membership fees are below.
Number of Employees/Membership Fees
5 and under $100
6 -10 $250
11 - 50 $ 450
51 - 100 $600
101 - 150 $750
Over 150 $850
What does ZATI do?

The aim of ZATI is to ensure a sustainable and professional tourism industry of the highest standard, working with private and Government institutions to achieve this. ZATI has had many achievements over the years and helped to make significant improvements to the business environment.
2019: Highlights included the international acknowledgement on the success of the ZATI managed apprenticeship program funded by ILO. A second phase has now been initiated with many ZATI member hotels participating. ZATI worked with the public and private sector to advocate on current challenges, for example, the need for a focused use of the Skills Development Levy to train and create employable Zanzibari youth in the tourism sector. As members of the Zanzibar National Business steering committee and Council committees ZATI had a collective voice working with private sector generic issues with a main focus on tourism. ZATI was involved in the Zanzibar Tourism branding committee as well as pushing issues in the industry at the Tourism Forum. ZATI is involved in organizing the second Zanzibar Tourism Show and the new Presidential program planning the future for Zanzibar entitled Vision 2050.
2018: ZATI was very active in supporting the first Zanzibar Tourism Show, which was a great success for the industry. The ZATI director and chairman were also involved in the steering and technical committees for the President’s Zanzibar National Business Council; as well as providing advice the director wrote and presented a paper on Youth Employment in Tourism, Challenges, Solutions and Opportunities. Twelve resolutions were created involving the government and private sector and those are being worked on currently. The Best D funded advocacy projects from 2017 were completed. Regular newsletters were sent to members and four formal gatherings were organised to hear the members issues and current challenges.
2017: ZATI is in the process of completing and completed BEST- D funded advocacy projects; in particular a policy position paper focusing on the multiple tax burdens in Zanzibar was published, and the hotel levy and VAT taskforce is close to completion. The apprenticeship program, initially involving in 14 hotels, has educated and given practical training to 56 young Zanzibaris. The program is expected to expand in 2018.
2016: ZATI received funding from BEST-D to continue advocating on: Multiple Taxation in the tourism sector dialogue with Ministries and Developing Agencies to review and adopt the proposed recommendations that were concluded in the detailed research phase. BEST-D are also funding ZATI to undertake research on the current skills gap in the industry. The study will identify current challenges as well as interventions with the aim of improving the skills of tourism graduates and increase their chances of employability.
In partnership with International Labor Organization (ILO), Ministry of Labor and Zanzibar Institute of Tourism Development (ZITOD) – ZATI have launched the pilot apprenticeship program in the hotel industry.
ZATI became part of various task forces including:
• Minimum Wage Review task force (to review the proposed minimum wage in the Private sector) in partnership with the Ministry of Labor, Zanzibar Employers Association (ZANEMA) and Zanzibar Trade Union (ZATUC)
• Destination Marketing with Zanzibar Commission for Tourism (ZCT) and Zanzibar Association of Tour Operators (ZATO),Zanzibar Bureau of Standards, Ministry of Environment and Zanzibar Institute of tourism development (ZITOD)to create standards in the Tourism Services Industry
2015: ZATI undertook a comprehensive study to examine and analyze the impact of multiple taxes on tourism sector’s performance. A position paper was delivered as well as proposals that have formed the basis for continued dialogue with the Government with the aim of reducing the taxation burden on the sector.
New projects that are being pursued in 2016 include Destination Marketing (to advocate for a structured Public Private Dialogue (PPD) in marketing Destination Zanzibar.
In addition, ZATI is continuing to implement and monitor previous projects on Zanzibar judiciary system as well as the Security

In 2014, ZATI concluded its review of the security and judiciary system as the legal reform process has now indentified key amendments to the evidence decree and criminal procedures act. Some of these amendments were those advocated by us in our report, and the concluding report will be published shortly. There was a clear focus on pushing for changes to the VAT Amendment and ZATI in in dialogue with the Ministry of Finance, TRA & ZRB in order to push for improvements. Further to this, ZATI has just been awarded funding to complete a review of the tax regime, which will be presented to the government, following a public consultation, and aimed at improving the ease of doing business in Zanzibar.

ZATI was also invited by the Zanzibar Commission for Tourism (ZCT) to develop the Tourism Regulations and also the Tourism Marketing Strategy for 2015-2020. ZATI also took part in the intensive Tourism Lab, which is a Government initiative aimed at creating an environment where stakeholders from across the government and private sectors meet to discuss the challenges they face and work towards common goals. Ultimately this will modernise the industry, ensure sustainability, improve the tourism product and offer higher returns for the local community. ZATI lobbied the government at parliamentary sessions, worked closely with the Ministry of Health on the management of Ebola and was also heavily involved with waste management issues.

In 2013, ZATI was invited to meet with the President twice to discuss key issues affecting the tourism industry – including security, taxation, utilities, skills and destination marketing. ZATI also received funding from BEST-AC to review of the judiciary system in regards to tourism related crime – in order to help protect the tourism industry. The launch of this project was quickly followed by a successful appeal against proposals to increase to work permit fees from $150 to $2,000.

In 2012 ZATI launched the Responsible Tourism Tanzania initiative into Zanzibar, with assistance from the British High Commission. We also briefed our new Minister for Tourism and Executive Director of the Commission for Tourism on a range of tourism matters and attended the ZBC Business Council meeting chaired by HE The President. ZATI was also invited to sit on the board of the Commission for Tourism as the voice of the private sector within the Government, to become part of the strategic decision-making processes in partnership with the public sector.

In 2011, we started the Public / Private Tourism dialogue to produce the private sector paper and presentation for H. E. the President, at the Zanzibar Business Council. We designed a new website and a new destination brochure which we took to London and South Africa for our members. ZATI also lobbied hard for a tourism police force and better security on and around the islands.

In 2010 our seat on the Zanzibar Business Council helped us to discuss infrastructure. We ran a local agriculture-training programme, partnering with TGT, to connect 150 vegetable farmers with hotels. We worked with the Commission for Tourism on visit exit surveys, tourist arrival numbers and investor databases, and assisted by BEST-AC, produced a Destination Marketing Strategy.
In 2009 we focused on infrastructure, Supplies, and Staff - and held many meetings with both private and public sector organisations to this end. We ran the ILO ‘Train the Trainer’ programme to produce 60 hotel trainer graduates in Zanzibar. We also lobbied on electricity supplies and airport issues.
Alongside the advocacy work that ZATI does, the main annual activities are:

ZATI Strategic Plan – Update to position ZATI for growth and achievement

Government relations – Meetings on subjects of police, security, airport, and electricity

ZATI Annual Dinner Party – The event of the year, showcasing all our activities
Representing Zanzibar at International responsible tourism conferences

Assistance at international tourism trade fairs – Karibu Fair, WTM and Indaba

Preparing the annual ZATI brochure
Our Annual General Meeting in November

Participation in key meetings with Zanzibar Business Council meetings, Zanzibar Commission for Tourism & Tourism Lab

Why does ZATI do what it does?

ZATI works firstly to support its member’s interest and thereby protect the largest ad fastest growing private sector industry - and one of the largest contributors to the economy and employment in Zanzibar. This is achieved via the involvement of members, sponsors and Government.

The improvements that ZATI call for, on behalf of its members, about policing and security, utilities, environment, taxation, skills and airport/seaport facilities, destination marketing are all essential to a sustainable tourism industry. ZATI works alongside public and private partners to help develop responsible and sustainable tourism, and although there are signs of improvement towards Public Private Partnerships, more work needs to be done as this is critical for the success of the tourism industry.

ZATIs finances are mainly from member’s fees - as well as contributions from sponsors. This funding enables ZATI to cover the operational costs of running our small office (including salaries of a director and administrative assistant) and to allocate funds to advocacy projects and events that help support the needs of members – and benefit the wider community.
What benefits do I get from joining ZATI?
Joining ZATI means that you are at the forefront of the tourism private sector pushing the Government for change – and getting first hand information of the latest developments. Members are also invited to participate in stakeholder meetings and public consultations so that the voice of ZATI members is heard.
Currently, ZATIs advocates for improvements to:
Safety & security
Utilities: water, waste & electricity
Destination marketing

ZATI membership entitles members to the following:

The right to vote, and to be voted for, in any election of the association

To receive all services and communications offered by the association

To be assisted in solving business issues

To lodge disputes or conflicts for help of resolving and settlement

To have access to business information and various relevant reports and research findings.

Joining ZATI will also give you access to a community of tourism-related businesses. Members can find and share information, promote products/services via our member database, website, Facebook and news update. Members can also take part in travel events and conferences.

Currently, ZATI takes part in ITB, Karibu Fair and WTM – and hosts it’s own networking events including the annual general meeting and the ZATI annual dinner party, stakeholder meetings, and some smaller regional events.

How can I sponsor ZATI?

Corporate Social Responsibilities (CRS) - Sponsors with specific CRS are able to sponsor advocacy projects - and capacity building.
Businesses looking to sponsor ZATI events can take part in the annual dinner party, which is one of the main social events in the Zanzibar calendar.

There are around 160 guests including a well-known Guest of Honor and several representatives from different areas of Government. This is a popular event for members as it is their best opportunity to network, to hear about the year’s achievements and future challenges of ZATI. Benefits for sponsors include not only fulfilling their own CRS, but also benefit from a captive audience of tourism investors, brand/product exclusivity, presentation opportunities, use of ZATI database, logos on PR materials and inclusion in media activity, and senior representatives at the top table with main VIPs at events. Sponsorship packages can be tailor made to suit