Zanzibar joins GSTC

The Ministry of Tourism and Heritage of Zanzibar has joined as a Member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC)

Zanzibar joins GSTCZanzibar is a Tanzanian archipelago off the coast of East Africa. On its main island, Unguja, familiarly called Zanzibar, is Stone Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, renowned for its labyrinthine alleys, vibrant markets, and intricately carved wooden doors.

Each island in the Zanzibar archipelago contributes to the region’s rich biodiversity and cultural heritage. The archipelago’s mix of African, Arab, Indian, and European influences creates a unique cultural mosaic, evident in its cuisine, music, and daily life, making Zanzibar a distinctive destination.

Sustainability in Zanzibar

At ITB Berlin 2023, Zanzibar introduced its Sustainable Tourism Declaration, endorsed by President H.E. Dr. Hussein A. Mwinyi. The declaration was developed by a team spearheaded by Zanzibar’s Ministry of Tourism and Heritage through the Zanzibar Commission for Tourism. 

The Zanzibar Sustainable Tourism Declaration is an informal statement of intent and a rallying cry for the Zanzibar tourism industry to take real strides towards sustainability, in support of people, planet, and prosperity.

The Declaration sets out five areas of commitment for its first year:

  • Sustainable food from land and sea
  • Sustainable waste management
  • Space for nature and restoring ecosystems
  • Supporting local Zanzibar culture, knowledge and expertise
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions in its operations

Zanzibar joins GSTCBy focusing on these key areas, Zanzibar aims to create a balance between its rapidly growing tourism sector and the preservation of its unique natural and cultural heritage. Not only aiming to protect the environment and local communities but also seeking to enhance the overall experience of visitors. 

Moreover, by encouraging responsible tourism development, Zanzibar also seeks to ensure that the economic advantages are evenly distributed, contributing to poverty alleviation and sustainable progress. Its strategy includes promoting small-scale businesses, providing opportunities for women and youth in tourism-related roles, and urging tourists to engage with and support local products and services.

« As we embark on this journey as a member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, we are honored to represent Zanzibar’s commitment to sustainable tourism development. Our rich cultural heritage and stunning natural landscapes make Zanzibar a jewel of East Africa, and it is our responsibility to preserve and protect these treasures for future generations. Through our Sustainable Tourism Declaration and partnership with the GSTC, we are taking tangible steps towards ensuring that tourism in Zanzibar is not only environmentally friendly but also socially and economically beneficial for our local communities. We look forward to collaborating with the GSTC and our stakeholders to advance sustainable tourism practices and create a brighter, more resilient future for Zanzibar, » said Dr. Aboud Suleiman Jumbe, Principal Secretary, Minister of Tourism and Heritage of Zanzibar.

GSTC Welcomes the Ministry of Tourism and Heritage Zanzibar

“We welcome the Ministry of Tourism and Heritage Zanzibar as a member of GSTC and congratulate them on their commitment to sustainable tourism development. When tourism is guided by sustainability principles, it can serve as a powerful agent of change, preserving both natural and cultural wonders stimulating local economic growth, and fostering intercultural connections and harmony. We look forward to working closely with the Ministry to advance sustainable tourism practices in Zanzibar,” says Randy Durband, GSTC CEO.

GSTC encourages destinations pursuing sustainability practices in tourism development and management to join as GSTC members and apply the GSTC Destination Criteria, which eventually can help achieve certification by a GSTC-Accredited Certification Body

About the Ministry of Tourism and Heritage Zanzibar 

The Ministry of Tourism and Heritage Zanzibar carries the responsibility of planning, managing, developing Tourism, and promoting Zanzibar as a tourism destination to go along with policies, strategies, and the National Vision in achieving the main goals of strengthening the economy and reducing poverty. As well as preserving, strengthening, and taking care of ancient and historical places and objects so that history can be preserved for future generations.

More information here: 

About the GSTC

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council® (GSTC®) establishes and manages global sustainable standards, known as the GSTC Criteria. There are three sets: Destination Criteria for public policy-makers and destination managers, Industry Criteria for Hotels and Tour Operators, and MICE Criteria for Venues, Event Organizers, and Events & Exhibitions. These are the guiding principles and minimum requirements that any tourism business or destination should aspire to reach in order to protect and sustain the world’s natural and cultural resources while ensuring tourism meets its potential as a tool for conservation and poverty alleviation.

The GSTC Criteria form the foundation for GSTC’s assurance role for Certification Bodies that certify hotels/accommodations, tour operators, and destinations as having sustainable policies and practices in place. GSTC does not directly certify any products or services, but provides accreditation to those that do. The GSTC is an independent and neutral USA-registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization that represents a diverse and global membership, including national and provincial governments, leading travel companies, hotels, tour operators, NGOs, individuals and communities – all striving to achieve best practices in sustainable tourism.

Information for media and the press: 

Statements expressed in this announcement are presented for informational purposes only and should not be taken as an endorsement or recommendation by GSTC, unless clearly stated.

[Photo Credit:  Rahim Saggaf through Ministry of Tourism and Heritage Zanzibar ]