The beautiful island paradise being ‘ruined’ by British tourists | World | News


Zanzibar, a once serene semi-autonomous Tanzanian archipelago known for its spice production and adherence to Muslim traditions, has seen a stark transformation in recent years.

What was once a haven of tranquillity has now become a playground for party-seeking tourists, particularly British travellers, leading to concerns about the erosion of local culture and the island’s natural beauty.

The influx of tourists, fuelled by cheap flights and even cheaper beer, has drawn comparisons to over-commercialised destinations like Magaluf in Majorca.

“They come off the plane with a beer in each hand,” one local taxi driver told The Telegraph, highlighting the party-centric attitude prevalent among visitors.

As tourism continues to boom, Zanzibar is witnessing unprecedented development, with new hotels and resorts cropping up to cater to the growing demand.

Vanessa Dean, product manager for Mahlatini Luxury Travel, noted a staggering 52 percent growth in bookings for the destination in 2022 compared to pre-pandemic levels.

However, this rapid expansion has raised concerns about the island’s future. Abdalla Omar, a local tour guide, expressed apprehension about the impact of tourism on Zanzibar’s cultural heritage. “Some people complain, saying the tourists like to change our culture,” Abdalla said, highlighting the erosion of traditional Swahili customs and dress codes.

Indeed, the clash of cultures is palpable, with tourists often flouting local customs and regulations. Maulid Omar, another local guide, pointed out instances of tourists disregarding dress code regulations and engaging in activities frowned upon by the predominantly Muslim population.

“Some women from Europe come here to meet with the beach boys and engage in prostitution,” Maulid said, shedding light on the darker side of tourism in Zanzibar.

Moreover, excessive alcohol consumption and the burgeoning party scene in resort areas like Nungwi, Paje, and Kendwa have further exacerbated concerns about overtourism and its detrimental effects on the island’s environment and social fabric.

As Zanzibar grapples with the challenges posed by mass tourism, questions linger about the sustainability of its rapid development and the preservation of its unique identity.


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