Zanzibar cops trained to beef up safety of tourists, envoys

The drive resonates with Mwinyi Administration's plan to invigorate tourism

MONDAY August 29, 2022

Part of Zanzibar beach, the major tourists’ allure in the majestic spice islands. PHOTO | COURTESY

By Adam Ihucha

Tranquility News Correspondent, Tanzania

The Zanzibar Tourism and Heritage Minister, Mr Simai Mohammed Said, has hailed two tourism outfits for equipping men and women in uniforms with soft skills for heightening safety and security of tourists.

Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO) and Zanzibar Commission for Tourism (ZCT) have jointly devised a course dubbed tourism management, safety and security tailor-made for Tourism and Diplomatic Police Unit officers.

Thanks to the UN Development Programme (UNDP) for bankrolling the course carried out in collaboration with Saint Augustine University of Tanzania Arusha Campus and the Police Force’s unit.

TATO resolved to work with ZCT in running the course as part of its support to an ambitious strategy of the Zanzibar President, Dr Hussein Ali Mwinyi, to spur the tourism industry for it to turnaround economy of the spice islands.

Officiating at the closing ceremony of the intensive training course for the pioneer batch of the men and women in uniforms in Arusha, Tanzania, recently, Mr Simai was optimistic the training would go a long way in improving tourists’ safety and security in Zanzibar.

The Zanzibar Tourism and Heritage Minister, Mr Simai Mohammed Said, is optimistic the training of law enforcers from Tourism and Diplomatic Unit will improve tourists’ safety in the archipelagoes. PHOTO | FILE

“I am so grateful to TATO for working closely with ZCT in training men and women in uniforms attached to the Tourism and Diplomatic Police Unit,” the minister said.

Mr Simai said TATO had impressed him for coming up with the course, pleading with other organisations to emulate the tour operators’ seasoned lobbying and advocacy outfit.

Skills on various security aspects pertaining to the industry have been imparted on the initial bunch comprising police personnel from the unit to boost safety and security at tourism hotspots in Zanzibar.

“This course will empower officers to handle tourism-related issues professionally,” said Mr Simai, urging the officers to apply skills they had just learnt to safeguard the industry he insisted was a game-changer.

“Safety and security play a critical role in influencing tourists’ decision to select countries for their holidays, this is the reason TATO has sponsored this training for our men and women in uniforms,” the TATO Vice Chairman, Mr Henry Kimambo, explained amid applause.

Tanzania Association of Tour Operators constructed over 193.6 million worth tourism and diplomatic police station in Arusha, Tanzania, to deal with cases filed by tourists and diplomats. PHOTO | COURTESY

On his part, the TATO CEO, Mr Sirili Akko, extended the organisation’s gratitude to the UNDP for its unwavering support to tourism, including its grand mission of bringing the industry into life again in the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The SAUT Tourism Department Head, Mr Ebenezer Goroi, said the course would help the police officers to handle tourist’s cases professionally.

TATO was established in 1983 to foster interests of licensed tour operators and coordinate public and private sector partnership.

It undertakes and publishes research pertaining to operations of the tourism industry and disseminates findings of the same to its members and relevant institutions across Tanzania.

Zanzibar recorded 20,416 tourist Arrivals in June 2021, up from 353 in June 2020 and 9,280 in May 2021.

One of the tourism properties in Zanzibar. PHOTO | FILE

Tourists from Europe continue dominating the Zanzibar market, accounting for 56.8 per cent of the total visitors in June 2021.

Country wise, French tourists dominated the tourism market, accounting for 10.9 per cent of all visitors entered in June 2021, followed by Polish at 10.3 per cent and America at 9.1 per cent, while Japanese recorded the least at 0.1 per cent.

The data from the ZCT shows 15,264 visitors entered through airport, among them 13,241 arrived by international flights and 2,023 by domestic flights, and the remaining 5,152 through seaport using sea ferries.

Zanzibar received 188,798 visitors from January to June 2021, which is an increase of 19.8 per cent compared to the corresponding months in 2020. About 80 per cent of the visitors were from Europe.

Russia is a leading the Zanzibar tourism market for the first six months by 36.0 per cent. Over 170,000 visitors entered through airport while the remaining 18,162 visitors entered through seaport.

Tourists explore streets of Stone Town in Zanzibar. PHOTO | FILE

Information on the purpose of visit shows about 20,416 visitors, equivalent to 99.4 per cent, came for holidays in June 2021, 0.5 per cent visited friends and relatives and 0.1 per cent came for other purposes.

Of all the June 2021 visitors, males were 10,704, equivalent to 52.4 per cent, and females 9,712, equivalent to 47.6 per cent. Males increased by 115.8 per cent while females increased by 124.8 per cent compared to the preceding month in 2020Ω

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