Maputo, Mozambique, 3 March – The Mozambican authorities have said they are creating the conditions necessary to guarantee that at least 4 million tourists visit the country every year by 2020, said the newspaper mediaFAX Friday in Maputo.
Currently around 1.5 million tourists visit Mozambique each year and the rate of increase stands at around 11 percent a year.
Construction, recuperation and renovation of tourist infrastructures is already happening in various locations with tourism potential, and this will in turn increase the number of beds and rooms to accommodate the visitors.
At the launch of “Brand Mozambique,” Tourism and Youth and Sports Minister, Fernando Sumbana, guaranteed, without specifying places and numbers, that various tourist sites such as hotels, lodges, country-house hotels and restaurants are being built, restored or renovated.
Some of this action falls under the scope of preparation for the 2010 Football World Cup which will take place in neighbouring South Africa, since the South African authorities have already admitted a shortage of 36,000 beds to accommodate visitors participating in and watching the World Cup.
An official request to make up this shortfall has already been made by the South African authorities to neighbouring countries for them to provide conditions for taking full advantage of the business opportunities that have already opened up.
The main border crossing between Mozambique and South Africa is at Ressano Garcia, 78km from the Mozambican capital.
The nearest South African city to Mozambique, Nelspruit, lies around 120km from the border and will be one of the main venues for the 2010 World Cup.
Recently published data indicates that in 2008 Mozambique managed revenue of US$180 million from the tourism sector, following US$163 million in 2007. (macauhub)