Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the main Zanzibar tourism sector policy systems, activities and areas
Semboja Haji Hatibu Haji
The Zanzibar tourism sector has been one of the most affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic. The restrictions on mobility and closures of companies in the global economy, either totally or partially in the 2020-2022 period, have had a significant negative effect on the tourism sector performance. The paper examines the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the main tourism sector systems, areas and activities in Zanzibar. The paper uses a policy model articulating effects of COVID-19 on socio-economic human developments as cascading across economic entities, sectors and activities. This policy research employed several independent but complementary research methods, approaches and collected primary data and information using stakeholder’s consultations and in-depth interviews with key informants.
The paper finds that half of the consulted stakeholders had the view that the COVID-19 had high negative effects on the performances of the Zanzibar tourism sector activities and areas. A quarter, considered that COVID-19 had moderate effects and another quarter, considered that COVID-19 had low effects on the performances of the tourism sector activities and areas. The safety and security, foreign exchange earnings, the accommodation sector, and income/revenues were perceived as mostly negatively affected the tourism industry and its counterpart sector areas. The effects of COVID-19 pandemic were less and insignificant in some few tourism activities and areas such as the tourism infrastructure sector, the environment tourism sector and the domestic tourism in Zanzibar.
The paper recommends that Zanzibar continue envisioning being one of the top tourism destinations of the Indian Ocean, offering an up market and high quality product across the board. The current tourism sustainable development policy objectives aim at controlling and improving safety and security, optimal foreign exchange earnings systems; modern tourism accommodation systems and efficient income/revenue flows from the tourism sector and industry. The tourism sector is a vital socio-economic development factor; empowering the people of Zanzibar to successfully own, manage and operate their life and thus simultaneously develop, plan, own, manage and promote national economic systems, activities and areas.
Semboja Haji Hatibu Haji. Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the main Zanzibar tourism sector policy systems, activities and areas. Int J Tourism Hotel Manage 2022;4(2):36-47. DOI: 10.22271/27069583.2022.v4.i2a.56