The Mozambican minister of Minister of Culture and Tourism, Silva Dunduru has said the number of tourists visiting his country had grown by five percent between 2015 and 2016 despite a drop in tourism investments to $107.8 million from $193 million over the same period.Launching the “Welcome for Easter” campaign in Maputo on Monday, targeting tourists, mostly from South Africa, who visit Mozambique over the Easter holidays, Dunduru said the number of international arrivals rose from 1,633,935 in 2015 to 1,715,360 last year.
However, Dunduru believed that the figures showed how tourism “has sufficient strength to assert itself as a strategic sector in the economic development of the country”.
According to him, the official figures may underestimate the number of visitors to Mozambique.
“There are tourists who come to Mozambique, but do not stay in hotels and we cannot include these on the list of visitors”, he said.
This rise in tourism figures comes as the government recently approved measures making it easier for tourists to enter the country, including a further 18 frontier posts allowed to issue entry visas.
“It means would-be tourists no longer have to secure a visa in advance, but can obtain a border visa on arrival” he explained.
These “flexible procedures”, plus longer opening hours at several frontier posts, should help increase the number of tourists visiting Mozambique, Dunduru said.
From within Africa, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Swaziland account for 64 percent of tourists from the continent.
Outside Africa, the main countries of origin of tourists visiting Mozambique are Germany, Britain, Portugal, United States, Holland, France, Italy, India, Pakistan, Brazil and China.