Minister calls for aviation authority to raise standards
The number of tourists recorded as visiting Mozambique rose by about five per cent between 2015 and 2016, according to the Minister of Culture and Tourism, Silva Dunduru.
Speaking at a Monday press conference in Maputo, announcing the “Welcome for Easter” campaign, addressed to tourists, mostly from South Africa, who will visit Mozambique over the Easter holidays, Dunduru said the number of international tourists in 2015 was 1,633,935, and the figure rose to 1,715,360 in 2016.
But the amount of money invested in tourism undertakings fell substantially – from 193 million dollars in 2015, to 107.8 million dollars in 2016.
Nonetheless, Dunduru believed that the figures showed how tourism “has sufficient strength to affirm itself as a strategic area in the economic development of the country”.
He believed that the official figures may underestimate the number of visitors to Mozambique. “There are tourists who come to Mozambique, but do not stay in hotels”, he said. “We cannot include these in the list of visitors”.
Dunduru said that the government has recently approved measures making it easier for tourists to enter the country. A further 18 frontier posts are now allowed to issue entry visas. Would-be tourists no longer have to secure a visa in advance, but can obtain a border visa on arrival, good for two entries over a 30 day period. These “flexible procedures”, plus longer opening hours at several frontier posts, should help increase the number of tourists visiting Mozambique, said Dunduru.
Dunduru said that within the African continent, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Swaziland accounted for 64 per cent of African tourists visiting the country. Outside Africa, the main countries of origin of tourists visiting Mozambique were Germany, Britain, Portugal, United States, Holland, France, Italy, India, Pakistan, Brazil and China.
Dunduru said that measures are under way both to increase domestic tourism and to persuade foreign tourists to spend longer in the country. Currently the average length of stay of a foreign tourist is 16 days.Source: AIM