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Saturday, 04 April, 2015, 12 : 00 PM [IST]

Zanzibar Tourism sets up first-of-its-kind Zanzibar Tourism Promotion Centre in India

Talks underway to start direct connectivity between Mumbai and Zanzibar
In order to promote Zanzibar as a tourism and investment destination in India, the Ministry of Information, Culture, Tourism & Sports, Zanzibar (MICTS); Zanzibar Commission for Tourism and JHIL Enterprises have come together to set up Zanzibar Tourism Promotion Centre (ZTPC), India. This is the first-of-its kind tourism promotion centre being set up by the Zanzibar government. At the official inauguration of ZTPC in Mumbai, Hon Said Ali Mbarouk, Minister for Information, Culture, Tourism and Sports, Zanzibar; Dr Ahmada H Khatib, Chairman, Zanzibar Commission for Tourism; Issa Mlingoti, Deputy Principal Secretary, MICTS; Leluu O Abdallah, Counsellor, Political & Economic Affairs, Tanzania High Commission; Mohammed Hija, Deputy High Commissioner, Tanzania Embassy, New Delhi; Jilesh Babla and Jnyan Patel, Directors, ZTPC India and Vasuki Sundaram, Associate, ZTPC, India, were present. In addition, members of TAAI, TAFI, international airlines and representatives of leading tour operating companies attended the event.

The Minister said that India and Zanzibar have very old historical and cultural relationship. The island of Zanzibar has tremendous tourism opportunities for family and FITs, destination weddings and honeymoon, Sports Tourism, MICE and film shoots, he stated. Also, it offers visa on arrival. "We are here to strengthen our relationship with India. We are a late entrant in the Indian market; however we have now arrived here and seek the support of the industry players to enable us to understand the Indian market," he added.

The Minister said that in order to create awareness about the destination, ZTPC India will conduct roadshows, seminars and workshops, and participate in trade fairs and conduct familiarisation (FAM) tours for the travel trade. "We are conducting a FAM trip to Zanzibar for around 12 Indian tour operators at the end of this month. We are also in talks with the concerned authorities to start direct flights between Mumbai and Zanzibar," he informed.

Dr Khatib said, "Zanzibar is a potential destination for Indian travellers. It is a safe destination with a rich heritage and culture, pristine beaches and authentic cuisine. Zanzibar is well connected by international airlines and can be reached through Dar-Es-Salaam in Tanzania. The journey from Dar-Es-Salaam to Zanzibar is 15 minutes by flight and 1.15 hour by luxury high speed ferry."

Hija stated, "ZTPC is formed with an aim to stimulate and enhance the flow of tourists from India to Zanzibar, and will rely on various activities to promote Zanzibar's tourism offerings in India; enhance awareness amongst the business and travel fraternity as well as the population at large and strengthen the existing bond between India and Zanzibar."   

Babla said, "The Centre will strengthen Zanzibar's relationship with India by associating and closely working with representative bodies in the various spheres. It will also assist MICTS and ZCT in critical investment issues and providing consultation for capacity building, education, technology transfer, etc."

In addition, ZTPC India has signed MoUs with Indian Merchants Chamber (IMC), Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) and Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI). Tanzania received 300,000 international tourists in 2014 and 181,000 in 2013.

Ajay Prakash, Founder & President, International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT) India, said, “Zanzibar is a great destination with tremendous tourism potential. The issue of direct connectivity between the two destinations needs to be addressed. Zanzibar has immense potential for MICE, FITs, wedding and film shoots. It can also be developed for activity-oriented Experiential Tourism, kite festivals, and music festivals.”

There are seven international flight options between both India and Zanzibar: Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways & Oman Air (which lands at Zanzibar) and Emirates, Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways and Air Seychelles (which lands at Dar-Es-Salaam).

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