5,000 left jobless in tourism sector in Tanzania’s Zanzibar over COVID-19

Drone photo shows small wooden fishing boats on the white sandy shore in the Indian Ocean in Zanzibar, Tanzania on August 23, 2018. (Photo by Mahmut Serdar Alakus/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Drone photo shows small wooden fishing boats on the white sandy shore in the Indian Ocean in Zanzibar, Tanzania on August 23, 2018. (Photo by Mahmut Serdar Alakus/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

At least 5,000 people in the tourism sector in Tanzania’s Zanzibar have been left jobless following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, an official said on Thursday.

Maudline Castico, Tanzania’s Zanzibar Minister for Labor, Empowerment, Elders, Youth, Women and Children, said the tourism sector was mostly hit by the virus pandemic.

“Most of the employees in the tourism sector, including the hospitality industry, lost their jobs following the shutting down of tourist hotels and cancellation of international flights,” Castico told a news conference in the Zanzibar archipelago.

“The government of Zanzibar is still undertaking an assessment to establish the full impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in all sectors,” said Castico.

On June 6, Tanzania’s Zanzibar authorities announced reopening of tourism activities after they were shut down on March 20 following the outbreak of COVID-19.

Mahmoud Thabit Kombo, Zanzibar’s Minister of Information, Tourism and Heritage, said Zanzibar opened its tourism activities to normal both for charter flights and scheduled flights.