Tourists to Mozambique spend US$100 million in 2005

31 March 2006

Maputo, Mozambique, 31 March – the tourists that visited Mozambique in 2005 spent a total of US$100 million in the country, almost double the amount spent in 2001, according to official tourism indicators to which Macauhub had access Friday.

The money spent by tourists in Mozambique since 2003, which was always over US$90 million, is a jump from spending in 2001 and 2002, of US$64 million and US$65 million, respectively.

“The growth of our tourism sector is evolving and continuous. Every day that goes by, we see the birth of new establishments, there are more rooms and beds,” Hiuane Abacar, the national director of Mozambique Tourism Promotion, told Macauhub.

According to the figures, in 2005 more than 700,000 people visited Mozambique, against 400,000 entries in 2001, with hotel capacity growing 6 percent since then.

In 2003 the sector contributed 2.5 percent to Mozambique’s gross domestic product (GDP), more than the 0.9 percent posted in 2000, but the country’s tourism authorities aim to increase the sector’s impact on the economy.

Short term goals are based on the hosting of the Soccer World Cup in 2010 in South Africa and, in the same year the African Cup of Nations (CAN), which Mozambique has proposed to host.

With around 3,000 kilometers of coastline and having successfully started the recovery of its natural landscape and wildlife, such as in Limpopo (South), Gorongosa (center) and Quirimbas (north), Mozambique’s main tourism market is rural travel, especially involving South African visitors.

According to Abacar as Mozambique is little known outside the southern African markets the country is focusing on marketing itself in other countries, including the European and Chinese market.

“The whole world has its eye on China and we know that there is an increasing number of Chinese in Mozambique, not only tourists but people who come here to see business opportunities, and we have to make the most of that,” Abacar said.

Recently, Hong Kong operators visited Mozambique, in line with increasing traffic from the far east especially of Japanese tour operators.

In the last few years, Mozambique’s situation has dramatically improved, with the rebuilding of the road network, increased hotel capacity, the launch of a new airline and setting up more flights and new routes linking the country’s beaches and parks to outside centers such as Johannesburg and Durban.

Mozambique increased its number of available beds from 10,500 in 2000 to the current 15,000, having doubled the number of three, four, and five start hotels. (macauhub)