Recently on Twitter, a lady named Zainab Oladehinde shared the horrible experience she had in Zanzibar, Tanzania, where she went on a vacation for her birthday. This saw Zanzibar on the trend table on Twitter, as it spurred many others who also shared their horrible experiences in the same country, Zanzibar precisely.
Via a Twitter thread, She disclosed that she flew in from Lagos, Nigeria to Zanzibar, Tanzania for her 23rd birthday which she was so excited about. When she arrived in Zanzibar, she booked a hotel named Warere Beach hotel in Nungwi Zanzibar which she paid for a 6-night accommodation. She revealed that one night while she was asleep in her hotel room, she was almost raped by a stranger who illegally gained access to her room. After many tussles with the stranger, she had to lie that she had HIV, on hearing this, he was probably discouraged as he freed her.
She ran out of her room to report to the hotel staff about her horrible ordeal, but unfortunately, no one was on sit. All hotel numbers she called were abortive, as she proceeded to her room to get properly dressed only for her to also discover that her money, a sum of $1,100 was stolen from her bag. She, however, found a way to report to a police station close by which according to her handled the case nonchalantly, stating that since she wasn’t raped there is nothing they can do about it. This however left her in a state of hopeless despair as she felt very unsafe in a strange land. After she called out Warere beach hotel online, their response to the case was one with callousness as it depicted that they have little or no regard for human lives. Their act however triggered a lot of people who also shared the horrible experiences they encountered in Zanzibar. Within 3 hours, the hotel received over 4,000 negative reviews on Google from people.
In response to this incident, Warere Beach had this to say;
“We are saddened that we must post this. Our Warere website was hacked, today 16 April 2022. Simultaneously, we were inundated by a massive release of defamatory reviews and messages through many different social media platforms regarding accusations of sexual assault at our property. Within 3 hours we received over 4,000 negative reviews on Google from people who had never stayed at our hotel.
As a woman-owned and operated business, the Warere takes guest safety and the safety of single women travelers extremely seriously, as evidenced by 6 years of verified positive reviews from women all over the world. We tried our best to support Ms. Zainab Oladehinde as soon as we learned of the accusations. We immediately brought her to the police and offered her support. The case was brought before Government authorities in April 2021 when it occurred. The police report indicated that this was a personal case, and not negligence on the part of the Warere.
After passing by the Zanzibar Nungwi police, the District Commissioners Office, the Regional Commissioners Office, and the office of the Second Vice President of the govt of Zanzibar, Ms. Zainab declined to take the case further. Ms. Zainab Oladehinde was informed that the hotel would abide by damages rewarded by the court system of Zanzibar. We will continue to serve our guests from all corners of the world with the same level of hospitality and excellence that we have become known for throughout Zanzibar over the past six years.”
The Negative Impact On Its Tourism
Asides from the fact that this incident happened in a particular hotel (Warere Beach Hotel) in Zanzibar, Tanzania, a whole lot of people disclosed their fear that such an incident could also be happening in several hotels in the country making it unsafe for tourists. This saw a lot of people disclose how they have taken off Zanzibar from their bucket list, as they have no intention of going there anymore since it is no longer safe.
Warere hotel via its Facebook post disclosed that within 3 hours after the accusations, they have received over 4,000 negative reviews on google. It is important to note that a negative review can seriously impact a business or a place. Every time a negative review pops up on Google searches, a place or business has the potential to lose customers. Research shows that one negative review drives away 22% of prospects, around 30 customers.
Three negative reviews drive away customers by 59.2%. With the rate of displeasure shown online, it is safe to say that a whole lot of people have blacklisted Zanzibar, Tanzania, listing it as a no-go area, and it is imperative to say that this will reduce tourist turnout in the country.