Lisbon, Portugal, 15 Jan – Mozambique’s capital Maputo should have direct air connections to Brazil by the middle of this year, an official from the African country’s Ministry of Tourism, Lucie Macie, has stated.
“After the recent inauguration of the Maputo/Luanda route [two weekly flights] we are going to have direct flights to Brazil, I believe in the first half of this year,” she said on Thursday in Lisbon, adding that they should help attract extra tourists to Mozambique during the World Cup football competition in neighbouring South Africa.
“We want to see if we can draw around 10 percent, or 4,500 of the total of 450,000 tourists South Africa calculates the event will bring to the region, while bearing in mind that we are competing with other southern African countries,” said Macie, who is also executive secretary of Mozambique’s Technical Office for the 2010 World Cup.
Portugal, Brazil and Angola, “also because they speak the same language”, are targets for attracting more tourists this year. The diplomatic delegations in those countries have therefore developed a number of publicity initiatives, including Mozambique’s participation in the ongoing Lisbon Tourism Fair, which runs through this Sunday.
Besides opening up air space, Mozambique’s other preparations for the World Cup, to be played from 11 June to 11 July, involve an increase in hotel capacity (in Maputo and outlying areas to rise from 3,000 to 5,000 beds) and eased procedures for visits and border crossings. (macauhub)