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In a boost to tourist revenues in the north of the country, Mozambique Island, in the province of Nampula, will receive no less than five cruise ships this year, each with an average of 1,500 to 2,000 tourists from various countries around the world.
District administrator Luciano Augusto says that this year the city of Ilha de Moçambique has already received three cruise ships with around 3,000 tourists from South Africa and France, among other countries, and that two more cruises are expected to dock before the end of the year.
Augusto believes that the last two cruises of the year will cement Mozambique’s Island ranking as the top tourist destination in the province. Its occupancy rate is 75 percent in the high season and for 3-day stays, the highest in the province, Augusto says.
By last September, Mozambique Island had registered approximately 10,000 tourist arrivals, of which 4,424 were nationals and 4,788 foreigners.
“We believe that tourist numbers will exceed expectations, because we expect to receive two more cruises. This shows that our city is attractive to tourism,” Augusto said.
Augusto points out several reasons why tourists visit Mozambique Island. It has a beautiful fortress, considered the largest in Southern Africa, and several other monuments, including the Museum, and can boast of being the first capital of Mozambique.
According to Augusto, one of the challenges is to find investors to increase the number of tourist establishments and hotels in the region, since the current number of beds and restaurants is barely able to meet demand.
The city currently has 45 tourist establishments with 150 rooms/253 beds, and a travel agency. According to Augusto, that is insignificant. The hotel Muhipite is however being rehabilitated and a boutique hotel with 20 beds is planned.
“We are receiving proposals from entrepreneurs who have expressed their interest in building hotels in Lumbo [on the mainland] and, in fact, we will improve our hosting capabilities,” Augusto said.
The province of Nampula saw a significant increase in tourist infrastructure development from 2010 to 2015, with 115 new tourist establishments opening.
At present, the Nampula province tourist sector comprises 590 establishments, of which 229 offer accommodation and 350 catering, plus 11 travel agencies. The sector employs around 6,000 people.Source: AIM Moçambique