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Leakages in the tourism systems: case of Zanzibar

Wineaster Anderson (Based in the Department of Marketing, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania)

Tourism Review

ISSN: 1660-5373

Article publication date: 5 April 2013




The objective of this study is to estimate leakages in tourism systems. More precisely, the study aims to investigate the sources of the annual requirements in the resorts and to identify the triggers for leakages in tourism systems in Zanzibar. It then seeks to explore the challenges that operators face when sourcing the inputs locally. Likewise the study seeks to trace the distribution channel of the tourists arriving in Zanzibar from generating markets.


Interviews involving 150 resorts were conducted during 2010 in the island of Unguja, where almost 97 percent of Zanzibar's resorts are found. Both quantitative and qualitative methods of analysis were employed.


The findings reveal massive internal (import‐coefficient leakages) and external leakages that only 16 percent of the resort requirements are sourced within Zanzibar. Unreliable capacity in terms of quantity and quality of the local supplies are among the leading factors that trigger high leakages. Most resorts in Zanzibar are owned, managed and operated by non‐locals. Tourism in this archipelago is revolving around the beach product; whereby the direct charter inclusive tourists, mainly from Europe, dictate the tourism channels. Nevertheless, a number of tourists buy pre‐arranged tours to Zanzibar as an “add‐on” to their mainland Tanzania safaris.

Practical implications

This study lays out the case for the need for more local linkages in the supply chain by revealing the extent to which the accommodation sector depends upon imported as opposed to local goods and services. Practical strategies to minimize leakages are proposed.


An abundance of literature has been written on linkages and leakages in tourism in several destinations. The same amount of work has yet to be done in sub‐Saharan Africa. The choice of Zanzibar is therefore justified.



Anderson, W. (2013), "Leakages in the tourism systems: case of Zanzibar", Tourism Review, Vol. 68 No. 1, pp. 62-76.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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