March 14, 2024

“Greener Zanzibar”: authenticity and environmental responsibility at ITB Berlin 2024

At this year’s ITB Berlin, Zanzibar focused on preserving its natural and cultural heritage to provide tourists with a diverse array of attractions. The destination is investing in a number of strategic projects in infrastructure and attractions that promise to elevate the visitor experience while safeguarding the island’s natural and cultural treasures.

Zanzibar is an archipelago with two main islands, Unguja and Pemba, each boasting their own unique character. Unguja, home to Stone Town and the larger of the two islands, with its ancient buildings and its bustling local markets, is the cultural and economic heart of Zanzibar.

Pemba, on the other hand, offers visitors a sanctuary of natural beauty and tranquillity with its lush greenery, pristine beaches, and thriving marine life. A haven for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike, Pemba offers everything from coral reefs teeming with life to verdant forests full of rare flora and fauna.

© Zanzibar Commission for Tourism

Sustainable Tourism

To preserve all of this rich natural and cultural heritage, Zanzibar has made a commitment to sustainability, a commitment that is woven into the fabric of its tourism industry. The Zanzibar Commission for Tourism’s “Greener Zanzibar” campaign, launched in 2023, reflects this dedication. And through initiatives such as effective waste management, sustainable food sourcing, and ecosystem restoration, Zanzibar is fully embracing responsible tourism practices.

One shining example of Zanzibar’s sustainability endeavours is the Jozani-Chwaka Bay UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. This pristine ecosystem, home to rare and endangered species like the red colobus monkey, is not only a sanctuary for wildlife but also a model for sustainable conservation and ecotourism. Visitors to the reserve are invited to take guided tours led by knowledgeable local guides to learn about the importance of biodiversity and the archipelago’s efforts to protect it.

Strategic investments and developing projects

In addition to its sustainability initiatives, Zanzibar is galvanising the tourism sector through a number of strategic investments in infrastructure and attractions that promise to elevate the visitor experience while safeguarding the island’s natural and cultural treasures. Here are some of the main projects investors contribute to which are paving the way for sustainable growth and development throughout the archipelago:

Zanzibar Marina
The Zanzibar Marina is in a strategic location with access to pristine waters and beautiful coastlines. It promotes nautical tourism and water sports with the aim of attracting high-net-worth individuals and maritime tourists in order to enhance Zanzibar’s maritime infrastructure and services. The target market includes yacht owners, sailing enthusiasts, luxury tourists, and event organizers. The marina focuses on eco-friendly operations and ocean conservation and offers a comprehensive range of services including maintenance, chartering, and club facilities.

Jozani Theme Park
The aim of the Jozani Theme Park is to create a premier family entertainment destination in East Africa and promote Zanzibar’s culture, history, and natural beauty while diversifying the destination’s tourism offer. It targets families, tourists (domestic and international) and school groups and will be the first of its kind in the region, blending entertainment with education and culture integrated into an eco-friendly design that preserves Zanzibar’s natural habitat.

Beach Sports Arena
This location with stunning beachfront settings offers modern facilities that can host a variety of beach sports, giving Zanzibar the opportunity to host international beach sports tournaments. The goal is to establish Zanzibar as a prime location for beach sports events and encourage active lifestyles and sports tourism.

Eco-Conventional Centre
This convention centre employs innovative sustainable architecture and design, reducing carbon footprint and energy consumption. It aims to provide a world-class, eco-friendly venue for international and regional events or order to diversify Zanzibar’s tourism offerings, appealing to environmentally conscious businesses and organizations. It should generate jobs not only in event management and hospitality but also in the green technology sector, promoting sustainable economic growth.

These ventures not only create opportunities for economic prosperity but also contribute to the empowerment of local communities through job creation and skills development. By embracing sustainable tourism practices and fostering collaboration between government, the private sector, and civil society stakeholders, Zanzibar is forging a path towards a brighter, more resilient future.

Zanzibar stands as an example of how a commitment to sustainability can enhance the visitor experience, preserve natural and cultural heritage, and drive economic growth. As travellers seek out destinations that offer both authenticity and environmental responsibility, Zanzibar is poised to emerge as a premier choice for those seeking an immersive island experience unlike any other.

Photos: © Zanzibar Commission for Tourism