Serena Inn to Boost Isles Tourism-1997-03-16
The Spiritual Leader of Shia Ismaili Community, Prince Aga Khan yesterday described the Zanzibar Serena Inn as a path-breaker project which will boost tourism industry in the isles.
Speaking at the official opening of the Zanzibar Serena Inn, He said the project would play a vital role in the re-awakening economic and social status of Zanzibar.
He said at the function which was also attended by President Benjamin Mkapa and Zanzibar President Dr. Salmim Amour that the project was significant to Zanzibar's economic benefits.
The Zanzibar Serena Inn project consists of two renovated buildings in the isles historic Stone Town.
Prince Aga Khan said the project in addition to the three Serena Lodges in northern Tanzania, represent an investment in the tourism sector of nearly 40 million US dollars.
The Zanzibar Serena Inn is a path-breaker project for the Aga Khan Development Network," he said.
The Spiritual Leader said the project was expected to play a major role in the social life of Zanzibar town, acting as a meeting place of local and foreign inhabitants.
On environmental front, the Aga Khan said there was a need to study and control sand erosion in Zanzibar's shorelines to preserve its ecology.
"This city was selected by UNESCO as one of the world's 100 most important urban concentrations, and Zanzibar can therefore appeal simultaneously to cultural tourism and to beach- resort tourism and need not be dependent on either one," he said.
He said there was also a need for the government to carefully plan and control restoration and maintenance of the Stone Town, its building and infrastructure.
The Zanzibar Serena Inn project was conceived some four years ago and promoted by the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED). The Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC), another Aga Khan Development Network's institution had granted 750,000 US dollars to enable construction of the Serena Inn.
AKFED is an economic development agency of the Aga Khan Development Network which acts as a catalyst for enterprise development, through promoting private sector initiative.