Zanzibar is in no doubt taking its place as a top tourist destination in the world going by recent developments where KLM and Lufthansa will kick-off flights from Europe to this island starting December.
KLM will have it first of its two weekly flights to Zanzibar on December 10 from Amsterdam to Zanzibar and finally Dar es Salaam.
Lufthansa, on the other hand, will launch its Frankfurt flights to Zanzibar from March 31, 2021. The twice-weekly flight will have by A330-300s on board and will also pass through Mombasa.
The launch of the new Zanzibar route by the two airlines is likely to spur competition as Europe accounts for the bulk of arrivals.
In December 2019, total arrivals in Zanzibar were from Europe. They accounted for 62% of all arrivals.
Head of Tourism Statistics Department with the Office of Chief Government Statistician (OCGS) Abdul-Malik Bakar Ali said Italy topped with 8,509 tourists visiting Zanzibar followed by the US and South Africa.
Others were from France, Russia, Germany, Belgium, and the UK.
Ali further noted that the bookings for December alone which is a peak season for tourism were at 90%. An estimated 467,401 hotel beds were sold out of the total 520,397 beds available.
Zanzibar’s tourism accounts for 27 percent of the gross domestic product and a leading source of forex income. It has given jobs to about 72,000 people in the private sector.
In the last decade, the number of visitors rose from 150,000 to over 376,000.