Sauti za Busara to boost Tanzania’s cultural tourism

On Thursday, 9 February 2017 the 14th edition of the Sauti za Busara festival will kick-off in Stone Town, Zanzibar to promote local culture, build technical capacities, and boost the local economy through the employment and training of East Africans.  

SA's Ihashi Elimhlophe at a previous Sauti za Busara festival. Photo: Peter Bennett
SA's Ihashi Elimhlophe at a previous Sauti za Busara festival. Photo: Peter Bennett

The event has generated over $70 million in revenue for Zanzibar since it began in 2004. Every year, the small team of ten expands to 150 crew members directly employed in the festival, prioritizing local personnel for crucial roles in artist management, administration, press relations, tickets and merchandise, venue & technical and security.

A focus on training and skills-building enhances Busara’s sustainability while increasing economic impact for the local community.

In 2016, Busara Promotions hosted training programs in stage management, sound engineering, stage lighting, press and marketing skills. In partnership with festivals such as Bushfire in Swaziland and Oya Festival in Norway, the Busara team has benefited by joining other festival crews, sharing and absorbing skill, knowledge and contacts across borders.

The festival has continued to grow and attract more international visitors every year, keeping it accessible to local and regional guests. With February being the busiest month in the year for arrivals to Zanzibar—including over 40,000 visitors---local flights and ferries are full, hotels and restaurants abuzz with festival energy.

This year, the four-day festival pass for Tanzanians is 20,000 TZS ($9) or 6,000 TZS ($3) per day. African passport holders pay 120,000 TZS ($60) or 50,000 TZS per day ($25). Tickets will be available at the Old Fort starting Tuesday 7 February, from 10am.

Sauti za Busara has helped put Zanzibar on the cultural tourism map as a destination that goes beyond the “sun & sand” cliché. “As a business investor, it’s our job to show travelers the best of Zanzibar, to learn about the island’s deep cultural roots,” says Trish Dhanka, owner of the local hotel Upendo Hotel and Restaurant. “Sauti za Busara is a vital link to travelers from around the world and mainland Africa -- it’s the music that brings them to Zanzibar and while they’re here, we hope they’ll discover a plethora of reasons to return.”

The Sautu za Busara festival will take place in Stone Town, Zanzibar from 9 - 12 February, 2017.

Sauti za Busara 2017 is proudly supported by Norwegian Embassy, Swiss Agency for Development & Cooperation (SDC), ZANTEL, Africalia, Embassy of Germany, Zanlink, Memories of Zanzibar, Ethiopian Airlines, Mozeti, Coastal Aviation, Ikala Zanzibar Stone Town Lodge, Music In Africa, Chuchu FM Radio, Tifu TV and Zanzibar Media Corporation.

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