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Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Thursday recognised that the development of sustainable tourism in the country is threatened by critical obstacles and, if urgent measures are not taken to deal with them, they could thwart the government’s hopes for a flourishing of tourism.
Speaking in Maputo at the opening of the annual Mozambique International Tourism Fair (FIKANI), Nyusi listed some of these obstacles as poor access roads, lack of good quality electricity and drinking water in some tourist areas, the shortage of properly trained tourist guides, and the lack of courtesy shown by officials in attending to tourists.
“These are the challenges to be overcome”, he declared. “In addition, we should include in the list of challenges, the fight against corruption and excessive red tape”. The government, he added, is already working to solve these problems.
There are over 145 national and foreign exhibitors at FIKANI, displaying tourism products and potential, giving the public the opportunity to visualise the beauty and charm of Mozambique, and to know the tourism services that are available.
The Fair provides an opportunity for tourism operators to find new clients, establish new partnerships and promote exchange of experiences.
Despite the obstacles cited by Nyusi, tourism has been playing an increasing role in the Mozambican economy, thanks to the investments made in recent years.
Nyusi said that, as a result of these investments, Mozambique attracted 1.7 million tourists in 2016. This is, however, a long way short of the government’s target, which is to reach four million tourist arrivals a year by 2025.
Tourism also supports 60,000 jobs, directly and indirectly. These figures, Nyusi said, “strengthen our conviction that tourism is one of the sectors that can offer a great deal of employment”.
The government, he continued, intended to maximise the potential of tourism to generate wealth for the benefit of the Mozambican people. It had therefore approved, earlier this year, the Tourism Marketing Strategy, including mechanisms for promoting domestic tourism, which is one of the recommendations of the Strategic Plan for the Development of Tourism for the period 2016-2025.
FIKANI is promoted by Mozambique Adviser, a tourism operator specalised in designing package tours and managing events. The Thursday event also launched, through Mozambique Adviser, the project “TIYENDE Mocambique” (which means “Let’s go, Mozambique!”).
TIYENDE is a range of packages to promote domestic tourism, focusing on destinations regarded as priorities in the national tourism strategy, including Greater Maputo, Inhambane province, the “northern triangle” (the cities of Nampula, Nacala and Pemba) and Lake Niassa.Source: AIM