Stone Town security upgraded, RC says

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THE Zanzibar revolutionary government is introducing new security measures at its historic and world heritage centre, the Old Stone Town, a move sought to boost the tourism sector on the Isles.

Speaking to the ‘Daily News’ ahead of next Friday’s Zanzibar Business Forum organised by Tanzania Standard Newspapers (TSN) Limited, the Urban West Regional Commissioner (RC), Mr Ayoub Mahmoud, said security was key to attracting more tourism investment on the Isles.

Mr Mahmoud stressed the significance of the tourism sector for economic development and employment, and emphasised on the importance of safety as a key factor of competitiveness of Zanzibar Island as a tourist destination.

“Tourism plays a key role in Zanzibar’s economy, hence the government is keen to protect this industry and has been taking measures to improve security because it is one of the major catalysts for attracting more investments in tourism,” he said.

The measures, according to the Urban West RC, will include installing closed circuit television (CCTV) camera systems in the Stone Town, the main gate of Zanzibar’s tourism circuit. “If we assure foreigners of their safety we will definitely attract more visitors and investments,” Mr Mahmoud said, pointing out that investors wanted to be assured that their investments would be safe.

The RC said the region, which is the most populated and most developed of the five Zanzibar regions, was safe and secure for investment and encouraged foreign businesses to come to Zanzibar.

Mr Mahmoud reminded guests visiting the spicy island of Zanzibar for tourist purposes, that the Stone Town, a world heritage centre, had interesting historical aspects, beyond its most famous architectural features. The Stone Town is popular for its major historical buildings, including former palaces of the sultans, fortifications, churches and mosques.

“For many people, whenever they hear about the Stone Town, what instantly comes to their minds are the historical buildings that dot the town, but there is more to this world heritage centre than those buildings,” Mr Mahmoud explained.

“When you visit the Stone Town, you will have a good opportunity to learn many historical things; the history of the stone town, the history of Zanzibar, the history of foreign religions in East Africa, the history of early contacts between coastal societies and the outside world, the history of colonial rule in East Africa and the history related to the first telecommunication between East Africa and Europe, all these are available at Stone Town,” he stated.

Mr Mahmoud recalled that Zanzibar had great symbolic importance in the abolition of slavery, since it was one of the main slave-trading ports in East Africa and also the base from which its opponents, such as David Livingstone, conducted their campaign. He also underscored the need to promote local tourism to enable the country’s men and women understand their history and Zanzibar’s documented as well as untapped tourist attractions

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