ZATI ENGAGEMENT WITH GOVERNMENT TOURISM ISSUES
Jet Skis - have become the most controversial watersport on the island due to a variety of reasons leading to the Department of Environment commissioning a report on the environmental and social impact of Jet Skis in Zanzibar which has yet to be officially launched. (Find attached below). Main issues include that Jet Skis are not regulated or zoned in Zanzibar currently. ZATI will be attending a meeting early in April at the Second Vice Presidents office specifically to discuss Jet Skis. The meeting is timely as a new Marine Conservation Area has been proposed around the island which will limit various activities due to zoning (see below). A member of ZATI has also organised a letter for those of you who are negatively impacted currently, please see below, to endorse.
ZATI board members and the director attended two important meetings in March with the Commission of Tourism and House of Representatives. The first was to discuss the challenges faced in regard to the current tax, fee and levy system as well as the complex payment systems. The second was to discuss the challenges faced by investors in general, which were based on membership feedback and current ongoing issues. The discussion will be used as a basis for the up and coming budget session in May. If you would like more detailed information contact the ZATI office.
The Zanzibar Planning Commission under the Ministry of Finance met with the ZATI Vice Chairman and Director to discuss the challenges of reducing leakages in the tourism sector and mapping a way forward in the areas of agriculture; employment and package tours. The final paper will be shared with ZATI and our membership later this year.
The Zanzibar Petroleum Revenue Authority (ZPRA) sent a letter of thanks (see below) for the successful mediation process that ZATI was involved in. Three government stakeholders meetings were attended by the ZATI Board, director and ZATI members; letters were sent and many participated in the WhatsApp group monitoring the progress of the operation. The seismic testing operation was completed in both Pemba and North Unguja with minimal impact on tourists, we have yet to know how the marine life was effected. The tourism industry survived the inconvenience of the timing of the operation, during high season, and the majority were happy in the end
The office has been a hive of activity with following up of membership renewal and meeting new investors who are interested in joining.
Our new admin and accounting office Fatma attended a digital marketing workshop this month and is focussing on the ZATI audit. Maryam, our advocacy officer, will be leaving at the end of this month and we all wish her good luck in the future.
The Executive Board will be meeting in April and there will be a focus on a new strategic plan for ZATI, which will be shared once finished, it will be based on the current government interest in promoting responsible and sustainable tourism.
The recent Best Dialogue funded Skills Development Levy advocacy research has been very active with multiple meetings between the consultant leading the Skills Development Levy and stakeholders in the private and public sector. The final report with recommendations on a better way to use SDL to support the tourism industry in terms of appropriate youth training, apprenticeship program and employment in our sector will be shared with the members asap. A matrix of an action plan will be shared with the Ministry of Finance and followed up on a regular basis.
The apprenticeship program is moving forward, and the new apprentices from Zanzibar and Pemba will be studying at SUZA - ITOD, in May, before becoming attached to a variety of hotels. If you are involved you should have received information - if you have not then contact Adil George on email@example.com.
We have new neighbours Association Franco Zanzibarite in the Old Dispensary, their opening ceremony involved music, dance and was graced by the Deputy Minister of Education, previous ZATI Chairman, Mr Simai Mohd, and the French Ambassador. If you have any staff that need to learn French - please contact our office for more details about the French classes that are being held (see photo and banner below)
Finally, ZATI is monitoring if your business has been impacted by the recent crackdown on the gay and lesbian community?