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Tanzania: Zanzibar Bans Tourists Staying in Unregistered Houses

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Zanzibar — ZANZIBAR government has banned the habit of some tourists of sleeping in unlicensed guest houses. The ban is also directed to some visitors fond of dressing unethically in public places.

“It is unfortunate that there are some tourists who rent houses or stay in guest houses that are unlicensed for the services. It is high time such deals are stopped because they deny the government of revenue.”

Second Vice-President Hemed Suleiman Abdalla said Thursday in the House of Representatives. He said that all tourists are supposed to stay or live in official guest houses and hotels to avoid tax evasion, and for security reasons.

“Local people renting their houses or room to tourists illegally will also face punitive action,” he said.

Speaking on unethical dressing, Mr Abdallah said Tanzania’s traditional clothing and modesty were part of the dress codes tourists had to observe and respect while in the country, especially in public places.

“We encourage tourists to be respectful and follow all the local dressing regulations. Inappropriate clothing can lead to stern looks from local residents and clerics, and also may lead to severe legal consequences,” Mr Abdalla said.

Zanzibar’s economic growth relies heavily on tourism, which contributes about 27 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), but the authorities say that unethical dresses and behaviours by the visitors must be discouraged to preserve culture.

Mr Abdalla asked local authorities to advice tourists to obey land laws and respect the local culture, and that dressing guidelines were available from tour guides.