Emerging Market Spotlight On Zanzibar
There is something in the name Zanzibar that conjures up exotic imagery of faraway places. For many travelers they would have a hard time pinpointing the destination on a map, though all that is rapidly changing.
As a primer, Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous region and part of the East African nation of Tanzania. One of its most known attractions is the UNESCO World Heritage site of Stone Town.
Traditionally the island has been a two-stop destination, with tourists going on safari on mainland Tanzania and also taking in the beaches and culture of Zanzibar.
C9 Hotelworks has undertaken extensive fieldwork on the ground and has published the new Zanzibar Hotel Market Update. Currently there is limited penetration international hospitality groups operating properties with only Hyatt, Marriott, Hilton and Melia represented. The development pipeline of five hotels does include Ritz-Carlton and Anantara.
What is dramatically changing the destination is direct international airlift, which has greatly improved seasonal trading patterns. Over the past five years, arrivals by air and sea have doubled, with the total annual arrivals in 2017 over 430,000.
Upscale accommodation in Zanzibar has traditionally been focused on all-inclusive packages, though with the arrival of the brands, is seeing signs of a shift with more FIT and bed and breakfast take-up. The scale of accommodation establishments stood at 455 properties with 8,494 keys at the end of last year.
There are a number of mixed-use large-scale developments underway including the Blue Amber integrated resort and Fumba Town. Another key project is a new terminal at the international airport.
Real estate is also emerging as a key market mover with provisions for foreign ownership in approved development and residency visas available for overseas buyers. One of the best known experts in the sector is REMAX Omela.
When viewing Zanzibar against more established island destinations off East Africa such as Mauritius, what is critical to growth is the continued push on infrastructure, while the availability of good beachfront properties bodes well for the future of the island.
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