Magazine article African Business

Hotel to Boost Zanzibar Tourism

Magazine article African Business

Hotel to Boost Zanzibar Tourism

Article excerpt

ZANZIBAR's fledgling tourism industry will get its biggest boost when the new Zanzibar Reef Hotel begins operations in October. The exquisitely designed four-star hotel is in stark contrast to some of the concrete monstrosities built during the island's brief but damaging marriage to the Eastern communist block.

The very name Zanzibar is sufficient to evoke nostalgia for a lost era of romance and adventure. The spice island's Arabic/Indian architecture is on UNESCO's World Heritage list and restoration of some of the more outstanding buildings is being funded by several organisations.

Despite the tremendous tourism potential that Zanzibar offers, the facilities in general have been very poor. Business travellers have had to make do with often below-standard accomodation and tourists have been hardly better catered for.

The new Zanzibar Reef Hotel, which will offer fishing and diving excursions in addition to first rate accomodation, is certain to find a niche market among European business travellers and the upmarket tourist.

The international airport at Zanzibar is being modernised and upgraded with funds from the Omani Government. Oman has had a long historical relationship with Zanzibar, culminating in the revolution of 1962 when the Sultan, whose dynasty originaly came form Oman, was overthrown together with the elected government.

The hotel has been built and will be run by the Kenya based Reef Hotels. The firm is run largely by the Sondhi family who were among the first Kenyan citizens to go into mass tourism 25 years ago. …

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