Maputo, Mozambique, 4 Feb– Investment in the Mozambican tourism sector fell 24.3 percent in 2008 to US$739.9 million, the first drop after several years of growth, according to figures published in Maputo by the Tourism Ministry.
The national director for Planning and Cooperation of the Tourism Ministry, Dina Ribeiro told Mozambican news agency AIM that the reduction in volume of investment had been due to delays in the country’s parliament approving a law to change the Tax Benefits Code.
Tourism is one of the sector that will benefit from the new draft of the Code, which was approved by parliament only in December 2008.
Ribeiro admitted that the international financial crisis could also have had an influence, but said that she believed that the issue of tax breaks had been most significant.
With the approval of the new version of the Code, Ribeiro said she expected that 2009 would be a much better year for Mozambique in terms of attracting investment in the tourism sector.
In 2008 265 tourism projects were presented, 237 of which were approved involving construction of 7,756 rooms with 13,205 beds and creation of 5,448 jobs. (macauhub)