ZATI works to support its member’s interest and thereby protect the largest and fastest growing private sector industry – and one of the largest contributors to the economy and employment in Zanzibar. This is achieved via the support of members, sponsors and Government.
The improvements that ZATI call for, on behalf of its members, include many areas but currently mainly policing and security, utilities, environment, taxation, skills and airport/seaport facilities, destination marketing, which 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.
ZATI has had many achievements over the years but there is much to be done to protect the tourism industry as is grows and becomes more complex to manage – and that is why ZATI members support is fundamental to ZATIs success. After successful lobbying the Commission for Tourism board has private sector representation and ZATI is represented further enhancing our capacity to influence Government policies
The aim of ZATI is to ensure a sustainable and professional tourism industry of the highest standard, and 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.
Last year alone, ZATI 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 backbone of Zanzibar’s economy. Public consultation took place with tourism stakeholders and a PR campaign is about to be launched to raise awareness and encourage the Government to make improvements. The launch of this BEST-AC project was quickly followed by a successful appeal to the Ministry of Labour, against proposals to increase to work permit fees from $150 to $2,000, and now, ZATI is busy reviewing the recently introduced VAT amendmentand preparing proposals for funding for a review of taxation of the tourism industry as it feels that investors are increasingly being overburdened.
ZATI was also invited to meet with the President twice last year to discuss key issues affecting the tourism industry – including security, taxation, utilities, and destination marketing. Many of you will have already noticed the significant improvements to the electricity supply, which ZATI lobbied hard for.
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 ZATI 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.