WELL preserved and strongly protected historical buildings are vital for successful promotion of Zanzibar tourism sector, it has been argued here.
Minister of State, President’s Office, Regional Administration, Local Government and Special Departments Minister, Haji Omar Kheri, speaking after laying the foundation stone for reconstruction of Mwinyi Mkuu Palace in Dunga District recently, said there is no vibrant and profitable tourism in the absence of history.
At the ceremony that complemented the celebrations of the 56th Zanzibar revolution anniversary, the minister underscored the importance of preserving and protecting all the historical buildings to attract more tourists in the country.
He argued that it was not enough for tourists to come in the country and end up eating and sleeping in classy hotels, visiting beaches and playing in the ocean, but they should as well get treated to various activities which they miss in their countries.
“Tourists need to see and learn other things, including Zanzibar buildings and history, which they have never come across in their home countries,” argued the minister, describing as laudable President Ali Mohammed Shein’s resolve to establish antiquities portfolio.
He expressed optimism over the antiquity department, saying it will help to boost the country’s coffers through international tourism.
Minister Omar added that the reconstruction of Mwinyi Mkuu palace will amplify economic and commercial bustles for the benefits of Dunga, Central districts and the entire Unguja South region.
“This building housed the offices of the traditional ruler—Mwinyi Mkuu—for many years before the 1964 revolutions, it’s an important place in the history of our country. All Zanzibaris should have good knowledge of the area and use it economically through tourism,” the minister said.
He commended the Ministry of Information, Tourism and Antiquities for appropriate spending of the money which was allocated for renovation of all historical buildings to restore their former status.
Mr Omar asked wananchi to willingly support the government efforts to promote tourism and urged them to not only preserve the ancient buildings, but also visit them.
“It’s shameful and scandalous for any Zanzibari, whether from North or South Unguja, to have not been at these buildings, thinking they are exclusive for foreigners. It’s high time we changed our mentalities and appreciated the history of our country,” he said.