Photo taken on Sept. 2, 2009 shows the Palace of Wonders in Zanzibar Stone Town in Tanzania. The Stone Town, which used to be a trading center in East Africa, is a seashore city with winding alleys, bustling bazaars, mosques and grand Arab houses. Most of the houses are well preserved and constructions built in the 19th century still can be seen in the town. The harmonious combination of different cultures attract lots of tourists every year. The Stone Town was listed by the UNESCO in 2000 as a world cultural heritage site. (Xinhua/Xu Suhui)
ARUSHA, Tanzania, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) -- Tanzania's semi-autonomous archipelago of Zanzibar is set to refurbish the largest and tallest building in its world heritage site stone town to woo tourists.
Issa Haji Ussi, Minister of State, President Office and Chairman of the Revolutionary Council of Zanzibar, told Xinhua on Sunday that the move is one of the strategies aimed at boosting the number of tourists from the current 400,000 to 500,000 in the next three years.
Photo taken on Sept. 2, 2009 shows a view of Zanzibar Stone Town in Tanzania. (Xinhua/Xu Suhui)
"We're looking for funds and Oman Government has agreed to support us in refurbishing the Palace of Wonders building located at the stone town of Zanzibar," the official said, without divulging the total cost of the project.
"Currently, the building houses the Museum of History and Culture of Zanzibar and the Swahili Coast," the minister said, revealing that the building is dilapidated and needs urgent refurbishment.
Photo taken on Sept. 2, 2009 shows local residents shopping in the market in the Zanzibar Stone Town in Tanzania. (Xinhua/Xu Suhui)
He said tourism is a foreign exchange earner for Zanzibar, "that's why we're coming up with a number of strategies to make it grow and woo as more tourists as possible."
Ussi also disclosed that Zanzibar is now eying for tourists from as far as Russia, China, and Middle East countries because for years it has been relying on those western countries, European countries and the United States.
Photo taken on Sept. 2, 2009 shows a post office in the Zanzibar Stone Town in Tanzania. (Xinhua/Xu Suhui)