Tourism surge for Mafia as over 400 people arrive

By Julieth Mkireri , The Guardian
Published at 10:29 AM Mar 28 2024
A group of tourists exploring the pristine white beaches of Mafia Island.
Photo:Julieth Mkireri
A group of tourists exploring the pristine white beaches of Mafia Island.

THE large tourist ship dubbed ‘The World’ has docked in Mafia Island, Coastal Region, with 154 tourists from various countries, accompanied by 288 crew members. They spent a day camping and enjoying the beach breeze of the Kisimani coast.

The arrival of over 400 tourists in total is attributed to a tourism campaign aimed at promoting the country’s tourism sector, initiated by President Samia Suluhu Hassan through her film project dubbed 'The Royal Tour' and the Mafia concert.

Aziza Mangosongo, the district commissioner of Mafia, addressed the press regarding the aforementioned arrival, stating that the mass influx of tourists presents another opportunity to further promote Mafia as a tourism and investment destination.

She emphasized the island’s abundant natural tourism attractions, which remain pristine and untouched. Mangosongo cited the presence of sharks as a particular draw for visitors interested in observing these creatures.

"The President has paved the way for us; we are building on that momentum and continuing to promote it. In fact, Mafia is akin to a paradise on earth, where one can come to relax, enjoy the peace and tranquility that the beaches provide, and indulge in various sports," said Aziza.

On the other hand, the Mafia DC outlined areas suitable for tourism investments to the tourists, stating, "One can invest in the hospitality industry, constructing hotels, and operating camping sites. We warmly invite those interested and assure them of our full support."

Olivanus Thomas, Mafia’s district administrative secretary, mentioned that they announced the arrival of the ship at the end of last year and were pleased with the feedback from the tourists, promising to revisit the island.

"I invite more tourists to come and visit Mafia; they will discover numerous attractions the island has to offer," said Thomas.

Albert Makalla, the community conservator from Mafia Marine Reserve, highlighted that the conservation efforts on the island have led to the increased arrival of tourists.

"Mafia district council chairperson, Juma Salum, stated that receiving such a large tourist vessel is a significant achievement for the district.

Salum mentioned that Mafia boasts numerous attractions, yet many remain undiscovered. He emphasized that such visits will help unlock opportunities for investors to explore areas of interest firsthand.

Alain Ange, a retired Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism from Seychelles who is among the tourists traveling with the ship, noted that apart from being a tourist attraction, Mafia is also a favorable area for investment."

Alain expressed his intention to reach out to the DC, emphasizing their willingness to collaborate with Tanzania, particularly in the areas of investment and tourism, with the aim of promoting Mafia on a global scale.

Eileen Weiser, a tourist from Michigan, shared her delight upon arriving at the island, where she savored its scenery and tranquility. She pledged to return for another tourism experience in the future.

Tourists from the United States, Seychelles, Comoros, Cameroon, and other countries not only visited the island but also extended their journey to Zanzibar for further tourism experiences before continuing their travels to other destinations around the world.