Mozambique: Tourism development overview
A brief history of tourism in Mozambique
Mozambique was a popular destination for tourists before 1975 as visitors from South Africa and surrounding landlocked countries were drawn to the beach resorts (King, 2007). At this time, it was believed that Mozambique had the status as one of the most preferred tourism destinations among South African tourists (Newitt, 1995). However, Mozambique became independent in 1975, through the struggle of local communities and campaigns initiated against the Portuguese by the Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (Pereira, 2011). In the years thereafter, post-independent Mozambique faced a civil war that left the country completely destroyed (Newitt, 1995). The civil war lasted 16 years (between 1976 and the mid-1990s) which led to major decline in tourism as Mozambique was regarded as an unsafe place for tourists (Mubai, 2006). Lastly, it is important to note during the decade prior to the civil war, there were substantial growth in the tourism sector which almost entirely ceased due to the initiation of the war in Mozambique (Pereira, 2011). During pre-independence the main attractions were the beautiful beaches, the flora and fauna as well as the vibrant environment offered by the urban centres (Mubia, 2006). Nonetheless, despite the richness of culture and fauna of the country, sun and sea tourism were the most popular types of tourism practiced in Mozambique (Pereira, 2011). The 1990’s marked the end of the civil war and soon after the newly elected government recognized tourism as a sector well suited to maximizing the entrance of capital and generation of jobs, strengthening regional development and distributing the respective benefits to all the zones of the country (Pereira, 2011).By 2000, tourism was again considered the fastest growing sector of the Mozambican economy (Rylance, 2008). The recovery from the civil war and the incorporation of tourism into the government agenda promoted tourism as a tool for poverty alleviation and economic development. In addition the policies and laws introduced by the Mozambican government incorporated principles of conservation and promised benefits to local communities (Pereira, 2011). Present status of tourism in Mozambique
Mozambique is presently a country with tremendous potential for tourism development and the government has promoted the beaches, coral reefs, marine life, conservation areas, mountains and culture as major tourist attractions (Strategic Plan for the Development of Tourism in Mozambique, 2004). The combination of pristine areas, tropical beaches and sunny landscapes, the diverse cultural and cosmopolitan city life and a rich and diversified flora and fauna make Mozambique a fascinating country to visit and all of these elements attracted the attention of the government to consider tourism as one of the main driving forces of poverty reduction and economic development in Mozambique (Pereira, 2011). Tourism industry growth in Mozambique
In 2002, according to MITUR (2010), Mozambique attracted 900 000 tourists who contributed 1.2% of the GDP and during this year tourism became the third highest investment sector in Mozambique with an investment of US$ 1.3 billion (Mubai, 2006). By 2005, there was a 37% increase in growth in the tourism industry, which was significantly the highest recorded growth rate globally for the year and accounted for nearly 2% of Mozambique’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) (Johnstone, 2011). Furthermore, the tourism sector in Mozambique grew by 16% in 2009 and there were recorded investments in the order of 222.5 million Euros (TIM, 2010). Moreover, The World Trade Organization has suggested that Mozambique will become an exciting and vibrant tourism destination in Africa which will welcome approximately four million visitors per year by 2025 (Sumbana, 2008). Lastly, in terms of growth and the overall progress of tourism...
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Republica de Moçambique
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