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Management Letter

In the hope that you are safe and healthy, Carl and me would like to give you a personal update about the impact of COVID-19 on ZanTours and our employees and our beautiful destination Zanzibar
Carl G. Salisbury
Managing Director
ZanTours / ZanAir
Sabine K.Emmerich
General Manager
ZanTours

Dear Partners,
COVID-19 came out of the blue and hit the world like a meteorite out of the sky. Nobody would ever imagine that a virus could "stop" our world in the dimension it did. But here we are in July 2020 and everything has changed.
 
COVID-19
During the time of our "asylum" in Germany we had not only a lot of time to reflect. Moreover, we were right in the middle of the pandemic and its impact on our daily life, social life, and the worldwide effected economy. Fortunately, in regions like Europe, governments are not only taking care of its citizens in terms of health but also its economy. We realized during this time that transparency and clear communication is what saved a lot of life. That is why we had in our daily calls, messages, and emails to our staff in Zanzibar at priority the education, updates and information of the virus and the pandemic, rather than of operational topics. It was particularly important for us that our employees and their families, we are responsible for, had the needed information to protect themselves and take precautions.
 
We decided to commit to the SOPs of
the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC)

 
Since we are back in Zanzibar, we are restructuring our companies. We started training our employees customized to each department. We took a severe hit like the entire global tourism industry. Yet, we decided to fight back and stand strong.

As most of you know ZanTours is an incredibly old company with almost 25 years in operation. But we have a Swahili saying: “ZanTours is like an old dog - sometimes thicker - sometimes thinner, but always surviving because of its wisdom”. We will survive cause of the strength of our “family like” company.
 
What is most important for us are our employees and their families. That is why we have set our company SOPs to protect them at first and by doing this protecting also your and our mutual guests.
We would therefor request from you to advice your guests to wear face masks in our vehicles and planes and in closed areas on excursions. Furthermore, please advise them to follow the principle social distance to anybody inclusive our employees where possible. And finally make usage of our hand sanitizer provided in our vehicles.
 
Be rest assured that “behind the scenes” we have a whole list of new operational procedures on disinfection of our vehicles, hygiene of our employees, behaviour, and operation during contact with our guests and on our properties. And I am enormously proud to say, as I am doing the training with everyone personally, I can see the understanding and change of behaviour of our employees.
Transparency, Education and Communication
 
The current situation on Zanzibar
We are very much aware of the recent negative press about how our government handles the virus. But one should consider that the majority of Zanzibaris and Tanzanians are not as well educated and exposed to the world like other countries are. Thus, what seems wrong for a Westerner, might the right way for us Africans. Spend a thought about this and you might understand a little better!
 
Here on Zanzibar people are following their daily life like before. The difference is, they have a better hand hygiene. A huge network of mobile hand washers implemented.
 
Places like airport, port, banks, public buildings, hotels, restaurants wherever you would find crowds are following the national SOPs.
 
And NO - neither us nor any of our former 120 employees know of anyone in Zanzibar been sick with Covid. We asked us - like you probably do too - why is this the case?!

After being now 3 weeks back on Zanzibar, we realized that surely below reasons are playing into our favour in the fight against this virus:
  1. Our daily life is mostly outdoor
  2. We eat “unwillingly” a lot of Vitamin C and herbal medicine, like Ginger as part of our Swahili kitchen
  3. Our population is much younger
  4. Africans are used to handle diseases, like Malaria, Cholera, Typhus.
Covid-19 Fast Tests and Certification for travellers
In the aim to contain the spread, more and more countries require negative tests from travellers. Our Minister of Health Zanzibar and Tanzania are working with WHO and some private enterprises in the health sector to create an efficient system to provide the needed tests and certificates if needed. As soon the system is up and running, I will give you more information.
 
Our personal message to you and your clients
Despite of having right now a surely damaged reputation, based on misinterpretation and lack of inside information in the global media – Our Managing Director Carl, me and the entire ZanTours/ ZanAir family can assure you that we are very much aware of the virus and we are doing the utmost to our own and the safety of your guests.
 
Come and visit Zanzibar and Tanzania and you will see that our destination and its people are at its glance and surely more than ready and well prepared to welcome travellers from all around the world.
 
Stay safe and healthy, we hope to see you and your guests soon in our unique destination of Zanzibar and Tanzania.
 
They call it Africa – we call it home.

With Sunshine from Zanzibar,
Carl & Sabine

 
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