afrol News, 13 June - The Mozambican President, Joaquin Chissano, on Monday inaugurated the country's so far largest investment in the tourism sector in the capital Maputo. The new "Holiday Inn" hotel stood as a symbol for the new growth sector for the boom country.
Chissano assisted in the inauguration of the prestigious Holiday Inn hotel in Maputo on Monday. In his speech, he emphasized on the great potential in investments in the tourism sector. Investments also served the country's other economic sectors as a factor to "make the economic development of Mozambique more dynamic".
The country remains an 'undiscovered' pearl within the Southern African zone of successful tourism industries. Neighbouring Tanzania and South Africa and close by Botswana and Namibia have for a long time achieved major foreign exchange resources through their thriving tourism industry. Civil war and poor infrastructure so far have hindered Mozambique in following the success of its neighbours.
The inauguration of the Holliday Inn thus marks a wanted turning point referring to major foreign investments in the sector. An estimated 13 million US$ were invested in the luxury hotel, most of those from the South African group 'Southern Sun Investments'. Southern Sun is one of the major South African private investment groups within the tourism sector, operating the prestigious Holiday Inn hotels in that country.
The new Maputo Holiday Inn complex disposes of some 159 well-appointed guest rooms and several suites. It is situated at the attractive beachfront on the Avenida da Marginal in central Maputo. The hotel includes an outdoor pool right on the beach overlooking the Maputo Bay, a fitness centre, and boutiques as well as meeting rooms.
The South African investment group considers the new tourist complex - the first one of this standard in Mozambique - to be a significant contribution to enhance the city's lodging capacity and a signal to other potential international investors in Mozambique, given the good reputation the Holiday Inn chain has at an international level.
Mozambican President Joaquin Chissano took advantage of the opportunity to mention the privileged geographic location of Mozambique in relevance to its tourism potential. Chissano noted that Mozambique "within short could turn into a very attractive centre for tourism". Given the positive economic and political trends in the country, the President might very well be right, listeners noted.
At the same time, during the hotel's inauguration, the general director of Southern Sun, Helder Pereira, referred to the great potential of the planned creation of the worlds' largest nature reserve on the border between Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe. Three national parks, the world famous Kruger National Park in South Africa, a large area of Mozambique, currently known as Coutada 16 and, in Zimbabwe, the Gonarezhou national Park will unite to form the Gaza-Kruger-Gonarezhou Transfrontier Park (GKG) whose total area surface will be about 40.000 square metres.
Practically, the GKG Transfrontier Park will be fully operational once there is free movement of animals and people across the previous boundaries. This is likely to be achieved by 2003. The bold initiative by the three government is within the regional frame of further enhancing the positive experiences Southern Africa has had with tourism, a major moneymaker in the zone.
Sources: Based on RTP, Southern Sun and afrol archives