Mozambique approves US$25m tourism project
The Mozambican government has approved a US$25-million tourism project that seeks to increase the competitiveness of the sector, taking advantage of the country’s potential and providing quality tourist services.
Cabinet spokesperson Ana Comoana told journalists on Tuesday night after a cabinet meeting in Maputo that two South African and United States companies have been authorised to develop a tourism and conservation farm at Mapulanguene Administrative Post in Magude district in Maputo province.
"They (South African and US companies) have created a locally-based joint venture firm known as Nuanetsi Lda for this purpose,” said Comoana, who is also Deputy Tourism and Culture Minister.
She said the 17,900-hectare project would involve the construction of a lodge, 10 tourist villages as well as social infrastructure such as access roads and schools.
The official revealed that the project is expected to create 110 jobs as well as generate revenues through the expansion of hotel and restaurant services.
She added: "With this authorization, the Government intends to make feasible the project to implement a wilderness farm for tourism and conservation purposes."
Mapulanguene is close to the country's Limpopo National park in the southern province of Gaza.
Tourism dropped in 2015 and 2016 during sporadic violence linked to the rivalry between Renamo, Mozambique’s main opposition group, and its former adversary during the civil war, the ruling Frelimo party.
Investments in the tourism sector in Mozambique reached US$107.8 million in 2016, a decrease of 44.1 percent over the amount recorded in period under review, according to Comoana.
She said the government had recently approved measures to make it easier for tourists to enter Mozambique, including opening 18 border posts, introduction of multiple entry tourist visas and extending the opening hours for some border posts.
The major international sources of tourists for Mozambique are Germany, United Kingdom, Portugal, United States, the Netherlands, France, Italy and the emerging economies of India, Pakistan, Brazil and China. These countries accounted for 80 percent of tourist arrivals in 2016.
The main sources of regional tourism to Mozambique is South Africa, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Swaziland, which accounted for 64% of total African tourists who entered the country last year.