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Old February 7th, 2009, 06:15 PM   #21
angcammoc
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A SHORT JOURNEY THROUGH MOZAMBIQUE
Text and Photographs by Ian Michler



I lost my watch within two days of arriving in Mozambique, but it did not take me long to recognise that it was in fact a symbolic loss, and that to enjoy Mozambique, the use of a timepiece is entirely unnecessary. After all, no meeting in Mozambique occurs on time and no photograph is taken according to the hour of the day. Besides, the consolation for losing my watch was that at least some Mozambican waiter or foreign visitor was now running their life to a more precise schedule. And so I set out on a timeless journey, over five months covering a large part of what is a truly splendid country.
Having never been to Mozambique - and that includes during the colonial era when just about every other white South African family seems to have gone - I had no real benchmark against which to compare the country. But I had heard from many, many people about their 'incredible' holidays in LM (Lourenço Marques) and, hell, you should have seen the size of the prawns! And no, they had not been back because things were still dangerous and it was impossible to get beyond the southern provinces, and since the change-over it was not the same anyway. I was never convinced that the size of a capital city's crustaceans was a reliable indicator of the overall well-being of a country and all its people. But this is all I had to go on, plus a few recent evocative tales from friends who had ventured further north than the capital and the nearby coastline and had experienced a little more than everyone's favourite seafood dish.
The biggest surprise for me was how wrong so many of the hoary old stories I had heard about the country were. These stories originated mostly from the expatriate community in Maputo, most of whom have not ventured beyond the capital, and if they do, it's to their favourite beach resort a little way up the coast. In many ways, the tales they tell are little more than myths - largely because, due to the civil conflicts the country has endured, much of it has remained untravelled, even though peace dawned in Mozambique in the early 1990s. When people don't know, they often offer their own impressions, even if they are jaundiced and outdated, and when you yourself are ignorant, you tend to pay at least some attention to someone who tells you stories with such apparent authority. As a result, so many of the popular misconceptions are way off the mark.
Mozambique is riddled with landmines and other undetonated explosives. Not true. There are a number of mine-detecting companies (The Halo Trust and Minetec, for example) that have been operating in the country over the last decade and have managed to clear it of most of these explosives.
Groups of marauding bandits operate in the north. Not true. This is not to say that there are no records of crime over the last year, but you will generally find the people unbelievably hospitable.
The cities are hotbeds of organised crime. Not true. Crime they certainly have, but it is mostly of a petty nature, and you will still feel far safer than you would in many other African countries, including South Africa.



The country's road infrastructure is virtually non-functional. Not true. The main tar road north from Maputo to Beira and on to Tete and Malawi is in very good condition and is easily passable in a standard sedan car. The roads in the northern part of the country may well be in poor condition, but they are being repaired on an ongoing basis. The country does, however, suffer from seasonal flooding, which will demand that sections of the road be closed to traffic from time to time.
The traffic police will inevitably harass you at the roadblocks. Not true. Major towns and cities do indeed have roadblocks, but these are by and large conducted in a reasonable and courteous manner - and if your vehicle has all its paperwork in order you should not have any problems.
Corruption is rife throughout the country. Not true. Mozambique is a poor country that has emerged from a long period of conflict and is slowly adjusting to a new political and economic order. There are officials who will take advantage of this change-over, but it is wise to remember that there are always two parties to a bribe - the giver as well as the taker. If you have a problem with the rules and regulations, don't be tempted to offer money to get around them.
The country's stores are poorly stocked and you need to purchase everything for a self-drive holiday before arriving. Not true. This untruth usually stems from a member of what the locals refer to as 'the beer and banana brigade', those South Africans who arrive in their four-wheel-drive vehicles laden to the hilt and will only spend money on beer and bananas. Other than in the far north, the stores are well stocked and fresh produce is widely available in the markets. Fuel is also readily available.
In short, Mozambique is like no other country in the southern and East African region. It possesses a uniqueness that stems from a different past. British colonialism, wherever it went in Africa, set a standard that left fairly similar systems throughout and somehow managed to temper the ethos of those colonised. The Portuguese, although failing in many other ways, left a legacy that has spiced the social and cultural dimensions of Mozambican society by stirring the best of Europe and Africa. It is thrilling to be among the people, to be a part of their living history and to feel the rewards of their new and changing society. The countryside, too, has its magic, filled with exciting land- and seascapes that take in so many varied environments, luring you ever deeper on a journey of discovery.


Maputo
Big cities are seldom on the list of priorities when on holiday, but do try this one. The capital is chic and flaunts an emerging African-style café society that will grab you. Enjoy the festive atmosphere and share the magical mix of the European and African influences that make Maputo unique. The city boasts world-class accommodation: the Polana and Cardoso hotels, with their stunning sea views, and the Rovuma Carlton, centrally situated alongside the city hall, would do any capital proud. Great restaurants and nightclubs, a long and winding esplanade that snakes its way along the city's seafront, as well as some classic architecture all add up to the best of city experiences southern Africa has to offer.

Inhambane to Vilanculos
This section of the coastline has some of the best salt-water destinations you are likely to visit anywhere in the world. With expansive tracts of palm-lined sandy beaches and a range of accommodation options to suit all budgets, visitors can choose their very own shaded spot in the sun. Of the best, Praia da Barra, Pomene and Morrungulo are of the idyllic deserted type, while Vilanculos caters to those who prefer a more 'developed' environment.

Bazaruto Archipelago
To date, this is the top destination for visitors to Mozambique. Even so, compared to its Indian Ocean neighbours, the islands of the archipelago remain uncrowded and offer some of the best snorkelling, scuba diving, fishing and sailing experiences. The lodges cater primarily for the middle to luxury markets but, for the adventurous budget traveller, a dhow ride will get you across the channel from the mainland to one of two campsites on the islands. To fully appreciate the beauty of the chain, try island-hopping on a small leisure craft or chartered yacht and take in a panoramic sunset from atop one of the many shifting dunes.



Ilha de Moçambique
The island is a gem of a destination that encapsulates all that is a part of the history and culture of Mozambique. This is where the country's colonial heritage started in the early 1500s and, for the following four centuries, it was the centre of Portuguese interests along Africa's east coast. The island boasts an impressive collection of colonial and Arabic architecture that includes cathedrals, forts, palaces, museums and mosques, and a population that embodies the country's cosmopolitan mix. Be warned, however, that accommodation on this heavily populated tiny scrap of land - only 3.5 kilometres from the mainland - is scarce. Nevertheless, this remains one of southern and East Africa's most exciting hideaways.

Cahora Bassa

Although well known as Africa's third-largest power station, this feature of the dam is but the sideshow. Visit the wall and power plant at Songo by all means, but to experience the best the dam has to offer, head along the southern shores. This is where you will find great fishing and birding - and also try a boat ride to visit the Zambezi gorge.



The far north
This part of the country should not be set about without a four-wheel-drive vehicle - and lots of time... Potentially the most rewarding region and certainly the least known, the north has an amazing array of options for travellers. Pemba and the Quirimbas will enchant those in search of the sea and sand, while Ibo Island will captivate the history aficionado. For wildlife and birding buffs, there is the inland trek to the Niassa Reserve, one of Africa's last true wilderness areas. Mueda and the northern plateaus are home to the Makonde people, well known for their intricate carvings and mystical rituals encompassing the dancing mapicos. And, if you're on a long itinerary, there'll still be time to head west to Lichinga and Lake Malawi/Niassa.
But what of the future of Mozambique? There is a definite feeling - and some action - that the country is truly on its way to burying the past. Much of the groundwork has been laid for a meaningful recovery, with major political, economic and social changes underway. And the war is now spoken of in regretful terms, many wondering how it ever managed to grip the country in the first place. Investment is pouring in for all sectors of the economy and tourism is expanding rapidly, giving rise to the possibility that the nation's growth path may yet equal the records of some of Africa's finest success stories. It is also quite conceivable that Maputo will, at some stage, rival Harare and Johannesburg as the major metropolitan centre of the south. For the first time in its modern history, the country is being allowed the opportunity to forge its own identity and, based on recent achievements, the people of Mozambique have much to be proud of and even more to look forward to. For anyone considering a visit, go now...

THE FACE OF CONSERVATION
ENDANGERED WILDLIFE TRUSTMozambique, like most developing countries, faces certain threats to its resources: the deforestation of indigenous forests; the opening of woodland through slash-and-burn methods for planting crops; the use of bush meat for local consumption; an extensive charcoal industry as an alternative fuel to electricity; over-exploitation of coastal resources; and the trapping of birds and reptiles for trade.
Inadequate state funds for wildlife conservation is a stark reality here and, along with poor controls, has led to the abuse of natural resources. Government thus relies to a large degree on external financial support to rehabilitate wildlife areas and on developing partnerships between local people in and around protected areas, the private sector (including support from NGOs) and the government.
The focus is currently on issues such as the country's hunting concessions, but special attention is also being paid to the parks and reserves that are co-managed by the government and private sector, such as Niassa Game Reserve, Zinave National Park and Maputo Elephant Reserve. Transfrontier conservation initiatives are receiving priority attention, and there are active conservation programmes in the Maputaland region, in areas bordering South Africa's Kruger National Park and in the Chimanimani Mountains.
The diversity of habitats and the pristine state of some of these areas demand not only responsibility but also action on the part of Mozambique, and this will, in turn, offer both enormous opportunities and concomitant challenges for future development.
Important areas receiving significant attention include the Zambezi Delta (for its general ecology and wattled crane population), the Chimanimani Mountains (indigenous forests and tourism potential), the Maputo Elephant Reserve (elephant population and endemic ecology) and the Bazaruto Archipelago (turtle and dugong populations).
The main projects and activities of the Endangered Wildlife Trust's (EWT) Fórum Natureza em Perigo (FNP) revolve around community-based resource management with an emphasis on employing and training individuals from the community as game guards in rural areas where biodiversity conservation and sustainable natural resource management is imperative.
Catuane, an area in the south-western corner of Mozambique, has an EWT community game guard programme which functions as a law enforcement and educational body to safeguard the area's fauna and flora and to encourage conservation, so that ecotourism and game farming may develop in this remote and beautiful region.
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Old February 7th, 2009, 06:40 PM   #22
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Nampula - Landscape - Hills


This modern town, tucked in the rolling hills and rising mountains of the interior, was established as a centre in 1967 when the Portuguese government transferred the army headquarters from Mozambique Island to here.

Nampula is the commercial heart of Mozambique, with banks, hotels, tennis clubs, supermarkets and large glass-fronted stores selling expensive motorcars, but it is not the place for a holiday. The skyline of the town is dominated by the twin cupola called Cathedral de Nosa Senhora da Conceicao which the locals irreverently call ‘Gina Lollobrigida’.









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Old February 7th, 2009, 06:53 PM   #23
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Old February 14th, 2009, 04:29 AM   #24
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Ponta D'ouro - Maputo

A Ponta do Ouro é uma praia localizada no extremo sul de Moçambique - fazendo fronteira com a província sul-africana do KwaZulu-Natal. Por esta razão, a praia é muito procurada por turistas daquele país e levou à construção de uma vila com muita vida, principalmente no verão. A povoação, que também é conhecida como Ponta d'Ouro ou simplesmente Ponta, pertence administrativamente à província de Maputo, distrito de Matutuíne e posto administrativo do Zitundo.

A praia é um arco com cerca de sete Km limitados por costões rochosos nas extremidades, por uma barra de areia ao largo e por dunas baixas do lado da costa. Por estas razões a praia é muito protegida e própria para desportos náuticos.


Ponta d'Ouro is a town in the extreme south of Mozambique, lying on the Mozambique Channel south of Maputo and just north of the border with South Africa. It is known for its beach, for its dolphins and for its offshore diving.

It is commonly referred to as 'Ponta' by visiting South Africans.



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Last edited by angcammoc; February 14th, 2009 at 04:47 AM.
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Old February 17th, 2009, 02:11 AM   #25
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Moçambique: Cidade de Maputo com novos investimentos turísticos

Maputo, Moçambique, 11 Fev - A cidade de Maputo tem em carteira oito projectos de construção, recuperação e ampliação de infra-estruturas hoteleiras, afirmou Pedro Amiel, porta-voz da Direcção de Turismo de Maputo.

Um dos projectos a destacar é a construção de um hotel cinco estrelas no recinto do Centro de Conferências Joaquim Chissano, com lançamento da primeira pedra programada para este ano.

Pedro Amiel adiantou que o negócio do turismo na cidade de Maputo tem sido rentável e cresce diariamente, referindo que de 2005 até hoje foram aprovados e executados 222 projectos de investimentos na área, com um volume de negócios avaliado em cerca de 100 milhões de dólares.

O sector do turismo emprega na cidade de Maputo pelo menos 2.200 trabalhadores e com o aumento de infra-estruturas o número de empregados vai passar para quase cinco mil.

Amiel disse ainda que o turismo com maior destaque na capital é o de negócios, com a realização de diversas reuniões nacionais e internacionais em diferentes centros de conferências dos hotéis e com maior procura no Centro de Conferências Joaquim Chissano, razão pela qual pretende-se implantar um estabelecimento de alojamento no local das reuniões.
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Old February 17th, 2009, 10:28 PM   #26
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Germany to invest in tourism in Mozambique

MAPUTO, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) -- Germany has expressed interest to invest in the Mozambican tourism sector, and some companies from that country are said to be prepared to come to Mozambique in the near future, AIM reported on Tuesday.

This issue was discussed during an audience that Mozambican President Armando Guebuza gave on Monday to the deputy speaker of the German parliament, Susanne Kastner, who is visiting Mozambique.

Speaking to reporters after the audience, Kastner stressed the need for the countries to strengthen their cooperation relations, which is one of the objectives of her visit.

The Mozambican government has defined tourism as one of the most important sectors to earn revenue, and officials in this sector have been working hard to promote tourism in the country.

Mozambique took part in an annual international event in Berlin recently, which gathered tourism operators from countries across the world.

These events are organized to publicize tourist destinations in the participating countries and to create cooperation ties with public and private bodies through contacts that will benefit tourism at global level. 
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Old February 17th, 2009, 10:37 PM   #27
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HIS Majesty King Mswati III says opening the borders between Swaziland and Mozambique 24 hours a day will help both countries reap proceeds of tourism during the 2010 World Cup to be held in South Africa.
He was speaking at a reception dinner during a visit where he was invited by Mozambican President Armando Guebuza to tour the Cabora Bassa Dam.
His Majesty said such unity would also help both countries to survive challenges faced by the region in the area of energy.
His Majesty said Swaziland and Mozambique should continue to identify new areas of cooperation to enable the people of both countries to share skills and experiences.
His Majesty said the 2010 World Cup would bring a wealth of experience in hosting and management of the event.
Speaking of the 24-hour border arrangement, he said “this facility will enable football fans and other tourists to travel between our three countries without hindrance. We will do well to further advance our overall preparations for the world cup to ensure that our countries get maximum benefit from it.
“We need to strengthen our regional cooperation in the fight against cross-border crime and all forms of criminal activity. This is even more so as our two countries attempt to strengthen cooperation in areas such as tourism and commerce.
His Majesty said he had always felt a part of the ceremony of the handover of the Cabora Bassa Dam. “I am happy that President Guebuza has found it fit to invite me for a visit of this strategically important facility.” He congratulated the people of Mozambique for exercising patience to let the then Cabora Bassa Agreement live its life span.
His Majesty said the Maputo Sea Port was of great strategic interest to the Kingdom of Eswatini, especially pertaining to export and import business. He said he was pleased to learn that the two governments were mapping strategies to ensure that the Maputo Port becomes the competitive port of the 21st century, ready to serve the region.
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Old February 18th, 2009, 11:42 PM   #28
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City of Maputo sees new tourist investments



2009-02-12

The city of Maputo has approved eight construction, refurbishment and expansion projects for hotel facilities, said Pedro Amiel, the spokesman for the Maputo Tourism Directorate.

One of the projects is the construction of a five-star hotel in the Joaquim Chissano Conference Centre, the first stoen of which is due to be laid this year.

Amiel said that the tourism business in the city of Maputo had been profitable and was growing daily, noting that from 2005 until now 222 investment projects had been approved and executed in this sector, accounting for total turnover of US$100 million.

The tourism sector employs at least 2,200 workers in the city of Maputo and with an increase in facilities this figure is projected to rise to almost 5,000.

Amiel also said that business tourism was of greatest importance to the city, with the hosting of various national and international meeting at the conference centres of the hotels and with greater demand for the Joaquim Chissano Conference Centre., which was the reason for building na accommodation unit in that location. - (macauhub)
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Old February 18th, 2009, 11:43 PM   #29
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Visabeira group’s Girassol Indy Village inaugurated Friday



2009-02-13

A tourist complex owned by Portuguese group Visabeira, built at a cost of US$21 million, is due to be inaugurated Friday in Maputo, the Centre for Investment Promotion (CPI) told Macauhub.

The Girassol Indy Village consists of 11 houses with between one and six bedrooms, all of which with air conditioning, fully equipped kitchen and cable television and will create jobs for 200 people.

The Visabeira group has five hotels in Mozambique and is also involved in the telecommunications sector via TV Cabo, the only cable television company in the country.

The CPI said that the Visabeira group planned to invest a further US$35 million over the next five years in various parts of Mozambique, particularly in the tourism sector (tourist resorts and hunting lodges), in the North of Mozambique, and construction of a private airport. - (macauhub)
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Old February 18th, 2009, 11:45 PM   #30
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New Hotel Inaugurated in Maputo



2009-02-17

Mozambican President Armando Guebuza on Friday night inaugurated a new Maputo hotel, which is hoping to cash in on the opportunities provided by the 2010 football world Cup to be held in neighbouring South Africa.

The hotel inaugurated on Friday is the Girassol Indy Village, the fruit of 30 million US dollars of investment, and intended to combine accommodation and sports. The owners, the Portuguese Visabeira Group, hope to attract some of the football teams that will play in the World Cup to visit Mozambique too, and to stay at the Indy village.

The chairperson of the Visabeira-Mozambique board of directors, and former governor of the Bank of Mozambique, Adriano Maleiane, invited football teams, particularly those from other Portuguese speaking countries, to use the "excellent conditions" afforded by Indy Village.

Despite the recession in Europe and America, Maleiane was optimistic about the growth of tourism in Africa.

"We are convinced that it is worthwhile to invest in tourism", he declared, adding that the Visabeira group is studying the possibilities of expanding to other parts of Mozambique and to other countries in the SADC (Southern African Development Community) region.

The Indy Village has 190 rooms, 118 of which are in villas, a restaurant for 300 people, a conference hall that can seat 1,000, two swimming pools, and space for other sports.

The Visabeira group already has other hotels in Maputo, Nampula and Lichinga, and can now offer 600 rooms.

Visabeira also has investments in other key sectors of the Mozambican economy, including agriculture, communications, cable television and real estates. It employs around 2,500 Mozambican workers. - (AIM NEWS)
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Old February 27th, 2009, 02:29 PM   #31
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“Marca Moçambique” vai promover potencialidades turísticas do país no mundo



Cerca de 650 personalidades, entre operadores turísticos e governantes africanos do sector, testemunham hoje em Maputo o lançamento do projecto “Marca Moçambique”, cujo objectivo é demonstrar ao mundo que Moçambique é um local seguro para investimentos.

Segundo o jornal Notícias, na sua edição de hoje, o Ministério do Turismo pretende promover a “Marca Moçambique” em português e inglês em vários países, entre os quais Portugal, África do Sul, Reino Unido, Alemanha durarante seis meses.

(Moçambique Hoje) - 26.02.2009

26-02-2009 | Permalink




Lançado guia de investimento em Moçambique

PARA ATRACÇÃO DE INVESTIMENTOS

O ministro do Turismo, Fernando Sumbana, considerou o guia de investimento em Moçambique, como um instrumento bastante importante para a atracção de investimentos para o País.

O referido documento foi lançado pela Sociedade de Advogados de Portugal (PMLJ) esta semana, em Maputo, num acto que marcou o início da parceria entre a Advogados e Consultoria de Moçambique (MDGA) e a parte portuguesa no ramo da advocacia e consultoria, uma aliança que constitui um forte complemento à oferta de serviços diversificados nas áreas da banca, bolsa e comércio internacional no País.

Fernando Sumbana disse, na ocasião, que Moçambique começa a ganhar uma maior visibilidade mercê do seu rápido crescimento e estabilidade económica, o que se traduz no aumento de investimentos de firmas internacionais de renome no País.

Para o governante, essas firmas constituem porta de entrada de investidores em Moçambique, “e isso é muito importante porque são essas empresas que informam os homens de negócios sobre o ambiente legal no nosso País, aconselhando-os sobre a necessidade de actuarem em conformidade com as leis”.

“Isso reduz os custos de transação, cria condições para que os investidores se sintam bem no nosso País e não provocam desilusões por eles apresentarem, duas ou três vezes, propostas que não estejam enquadradas dentro do sistema legal em Moçambique, e isso permite uma maior velocidade a todo o tipo de relação de negócio no País”, referiu.

O guia de investientos em Moçambique foi elaborado em Setembro de 2008 e destina-se, fundamentalmente, a facilitar consultas aos investidores sobre matéria legal nas diferentes áreas de investimento, cujo volume tem vindo a incrementar-se nos últimos tempos no País.

Segundo a PMLJ, o guia fornece informações relevantes aos investidores sobre o ambiente legal e de negócios em Moçambique e explica de uma forma muito clara, por exemplo, como se procede ao registo de uma empresa, entre outras coisas que por falta de conhecimento afastam os investidores do País. A Sociedade de Advogados de Portugal diz que não vem a Moçambique para fazer concorrência aos advogados e autoridades locais, mas unicamente para fazer a complementaridade dos serviços nas diferentes áreas.

DIÁRIO DE NOTÍCIAS - 26.02.2009
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Old February 27th, 2009, 02:34 PM   #32
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A Equipa de Turismo do Parque Nacional da Gorongosa em colaboração com o Café Sol irá mostrar as suas belezas no fim-se-semana de 7 e 8 de Março !

Se vive na área de Maputo aproveite esta oportunidade de conhecer um pouco melhor o mais antigo e afamado Parque Natural de Moçambique.

Temos ainda o prazer de vos dizer que a foto do Lago Urema que se pode ver um pouco mais abaixo, foi considerada a foto da semana no concurso que a Sociedade do Noticias, a Rádio Moçambique (RM) e Televisão de Moçambique (TVM) estão a patrocinar e que culminará com a eleição das Sete Maravilhas de Moçambique.

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Old March 17th, 2009, 09:54 AM   #33
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very nice exotic country
but Mocambique is too far lol
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Old March 17th, 2009, 11:07 PM   #34
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One word: B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L!

Great thread angcammoc, keep it up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabat with love View Post
very nice exotic country
but Mocambique is too far lol
Far from what? If you're talking about tourists, then have a lot to learn about the tourism industry. LOL
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Old March 26th, 2009, 05:32 PM   #35
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more Ponta d'ouro - MAPUTO

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Last edited by angcammoc; March 26th, 2009 at 05:38 PM.
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Old March 26th, 2009, 05:35 PM   #36
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Old March 30th, 2009, 03:12 AM   #37
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Dubai World Africa plans Mozambique eco projects

Dubai: Dubai World Africa on Saturday announced that it will invest $200 million in the Bilene Hotel, a luxury beach resort, golf estate and eco development along 4km of prime beachfront in Mozambique.

Situated in a popular holiday village in the south of the country, north of Maputo, the resort spans a 1,000 hectares and encompasses 18km Sao Martinho Lagoon, nature reserve and turtle breeding area. This area is home to the largest of all living turtles, the leatherback.

The nature reserve will be managed by Dubai World Conservation Africa and eco tourism will be of prime focus.

Lending to the organisations eco tourism interests, the coral reefs will be of particular interest to wildlife and water recreational sports enthusiasts alike

Conservation is a key focus area for the company, which is currently establishing Dubai World Conservation Africa as a holding company for a number of prime reserves in Africa.

The Dubai state-owned company, with interests ranging from real estate to ports, is to invest $150 million in the creation of an international competition standard golf course, a 5 star hotel as well as 500 golf course and beach villas and condos. The resort will be served by its own airport, Bilene Praia.

In addition to extensive water sport facilities the Bilene Hotel will feature a diving centre.

"There are vast opportunities in Africa, opportunities unlike anywhere else in the world, such as the magnificent Bilene Hotel. Our presence on the continent places us at an advantage for African investment," said Dubai World Chairman Sultan Ahmad Bin Sulayem.
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Old April 16th, 2009, 10:07 PM   #38
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Mozambique Tourism Developments


Maputo — The average annual investment in Mozambican tourism was 600 million US dollars between 2005 and 2008, with a peak of 977 million dollars in 2007, Tourism Minister Fernando Sumbana announced on Thursday.

Addressing the Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, Sumbana said that the capacity of the country's hotel industry had been expanding at an average annual rate of 12 per cent. The number of beds had risen from 15,000 in 2005 to over 17,500 in 2008. The sector was now a major employer: Sumbana said that over 40,000 people work in Mozambican tourism, of whom more than half are women.

The known revenue from foreign tourists visiting Mozambique rose from 129 million dollars in 2005 to 185 million in 2008. The number of foreign visitors has more than doubled, rising from 711,000 in 2004 to over 1.5 million in 2008.

"These figures show that the sector is growing sharply", said Sumbana. "They demonstrate that tourism is an important option for sustaining the national economy. The distribution of wealth throughout the tourism chain contributes to the elimination of poverty".

He admitted that immediately after independence in 1975 little attention had been paid to tourism. "There was a time when we had few hotels, and they were of low quality in the main cities", he said. "At that time, there was a certain reservation about foreign investors and tourists, unlike the current situation. Today our entire people understand the importance of the tourism industry in economic and social development".

Sumbana added that a multi-sector commission was set up in 2005 to improve control over tourism activities to ensure that they were in line with health and environmental regulations, and were providing services of a decent standard. Between 2005 and 2008, 5,190 tourism establishments were inspected.

The commission, he said, focused on such matters as the disorderly construction of tourist infrastructures, and the conditions of workers in the industry. Also on the agenda was the protection of minors, and the combat against any racial discrimination in tourism.

Local communities living in conservation areas receive 20 per cent of the tourism revenue generated in these areas. Sumbana said that, over the past three years, this has amounted to more than four million meticais a year, and the figure is growing at the rate of five per cent a year.

These sums had, for example, allowed communities in the Quirimbas and Bazaruto archipelagos to pay scholarships so that students, particularly girls, who finished primary education on the islands could continue their studies on the mainland.

Sumbana said that Mozambique hopes to benefit from spin-offs from the 2010 football World Cup in South Africa, which is expected to attract large numbers of tourists to the region. By the time of the championship Mozambique's new national stadium, in the Maputo suburb of Zimpeto, will be complete, and other major sports grounds will have been rehabilitated.

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The Minister also expected that the recent increase in the fleet of the national carrier, Mozambique Airlines (LAM) and the modernization of Maputo airport and the airports in two of the most important tourist resorts, Vilankulo and Pemba, would allow the country to capitalize on World Cup tourist opportunities.

The government's ambition for the coming years, he concluded, "is to turn Mozambique into a world class tourist destination, with quality establishments for all social segments".
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Old April 20th, 2009, 12:13 AM   #39
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“Moçambique é agora destino turístico de referência”

Fernando Sumbana, ministro do Turismo
“Se olhar para as principais referências sobre o turismo moçambicano,

a nível mundial, poderá notar que as maiores e melhores revistas sobre turismo fazem elogio àquilo que acontece no país”

O governo definiu como um dos objectivos do quinquénio tornar Moçambique um destino turístico de classe mundial. Ao fim destes cinco anos, já se pode dizer que moçambique “é um destino turístico de classe mundial?

Posso dizer que Moçambique é um destino turístico de referência a nível mundial. O país desenvolveu um segmento de taxa de densidade de alto rendimento, que permite desenvolver empreendimentos de luxo, mas com pouca pressão de volume de pessoas que se deslocam para lá. Trata-se dum produto virado para um segmento muito específico, que é daqueles turistas que seleccionam com muito rigor o local onde pretendem ir, pretendem ter sossego, querem ter tranquilidade, contacto com a natureza e querem ter uma relação muito intensiva com as comunidades e pesssoas que se encontram no local. Desenvolvemos e conseguimos posicionar-nos. Se olhar para as principais referências sobre o turismo moçambicano, a nível mundial, poderá notar que as maiores e melhores revistas sobre turismo fazem elogio àquilo que acontece em Moçambique, particularmente no arquipélago das Quirimbas. Já fazem referências ao Niassa; ao arquipélago do Bazaruto, onde temos estâncias de belíssima qualidade; e também à cidade de Maputo devido à sua actividade muito vibrante, à característica muito especial da relacão entre o turista e a população local, bem como o negócio informal. neste sentido, podemos dizer que moçambique é um destino de referência a nível mundial.

Uma das constatações do plano estratégico para o desenvolvimento do Turismo 2004/2013 era de que a imagem e o posicionamento de Moçambique como destino turístico permaneciam obscuros, muito por força de falta de órgãos direccionados para a realizaçao de actividades de marketing e a fraca ou a quase inexistência de estratégias sectoriais de marketing. Neste mandato, o Governo aprovou o plano nacional de marketing turístico, com o objectivo de inverter este cenário. Qual tem sido o real impacto na mudança de percepções sobre o país no mundo?

Tenho que dizer que a nível mundial Moçambique deixou de ter imagem de guerra, fome e carência. Passou a ser um país alegre, um país de referência. As pessoas quando falam da cidade de Maputo dizem que é um país alegre, onde as pessoas têm uma boa relação com o visitante; olham para as ilhas e arquipélagos e até fazem lua de mel nesses sítios. Portanto, é um país de muita alegria, de muita intensidade e que a imagem negativa que existia do país está desaparecendo (...), de tal modo que não devemos deixar de falar dos problemas que existem no país, porque não tentamos escamutear nada.

Que acções concretas estão sendo feitas no sentido de passar essa imagem positiva de Moçambique? De que forma esta sendo feito isso?

Nós temos estado a convidar jornalistas, no caso de turistas internacionais. Convidamos jornalistas para ambientação, isto é irem visitar vários destinos, terem uma interação com o povo moçambicano, alguns jornalista andaram mesmo no “chapa cem”, para terem o sentido de convívio com o povo e sentirem como é que é a vida real. Sentiram dificuldades, mas ao mesmo tempo sentiram alegria de uma vida muito espontânea e muito alegre, uma vida muito natural e não superficial, como muitos vivem em muitos cantos do mundo. Então, temos feito isso, através de férias internacionais, designadas de “Bolsa de Turismo”. olhamos como principais mercados a África do Sul, o Indaba que é uma das principais bolsas do turismo a nível do continente africano; a nível da europa temos a bolsa de Lisboa, Espanha, Alemanha e a grande feira da Grã-Bretanha. Também temos participado nas feiras da China, o que significa que temos estado a procurar ampliar o alcance da nossa mensagem. Participámos também na feira da caça dos Estados Unidos, que é uma feira muito especializada para vender o produto de caça. Temos estado a fazer publicações de DVD e uma série de elementos que distribuímos, que permitem que as pessoas possam ter uma aproximação com Moçambique.

É possível a partir de qualquer parte do mundo saber o que é que é Moçambique e que potencialidades oferece?

É possível. importa dizer que já não é só o governo a fazer isso. Nós já temos várias entidades privadas a fazer isso. Se alguém for à internet e clicar Moçambique terá informações imensas e de boas coisas. Se quiser ser mais específico acerca de Moçambique turismo há de ter, inclusive, os destinos, os preços e até acesso ao tipo de quartos que lá existem, o ambiente dos estabelecimentos turísticos (...). Recentemente, nós lançámos o Geomap para as províncias de Niassa, Cabo Delgado e Nampula. O que é o Geomap? É um sistema que permite visualizar fisicamente, através do papel, o mapa. Por exemplo, se dissermos Mandimba, podemos ver como é que é Mandimba em termos de configuração geográfica, podemos procurar saber que tipo de comida existe em Mandimba, podemos saber que tipo de dança existe, como é o povo, qual é a vida quotidiana, que tipo de animais existem e ficámos com uma impressão completa do país. Estamos a trabalhar para completar todo o país. Portanto, fizemos o modelo ou o projecto piloto através dessas três províncias e vamos procurar completar em todo o país.

De alguma maneira há um concenso de que o turismo tem um grande potencial de desenvolvimento em Moçambique, porém, também persiste a ideia de que esse potencial precisa de ser traduzido em produtos e serviços de qualidade aceitável. O que é que se fez durante esses cinco anos no sentido de se potenciar esses produtos e serviços para que sejam de qualidade?

Tenho a dizer que esta é uma das áreas onde temos estado a fazer muito esforço. Muito esforço porque houve uma explosão de estabelecimentos turísticos. Os quadros disponíveis nesta área, digámos que eram os mesmos, e começou a haver uma espécie de saque de quadros de um hotel para outro, de um lodge para outro, de um restaurante para outro e a formação não conseguia responder a essa procura, sobretudo, quando nós tivemos uma espécie de declínio. O Hotel Escola Andalucia começou a não ter a prestação que seria de esperar, contudo, tivemos uma participação do sector privado. Várias empresas privadas iniciaram a sua própria formação. encontrámos muitos estabelecimentos, mas não encontrámos a qualidade que seria de esperar, daí o grande esforço e a campanha que temos estado a fazer no contacto directo com os operadores. Temos estado a trabalhar inclusive com os sindicatos que têm sido os nossos grandes parceiros, no sentido de melhorar a qualidade dos serviços. Posso dizer que em alguns casos a falta de qualidade não é causada pela falta de conhecimentos, mas sim por um certo relaxamento. Um certo sentimento de que bem, as coisas ja estão feitas e eu já sou chefe de sala, do restaurante, director das comidas e bebidas deste hotel, então não me esforço mais. Neste momento, o que nós fizemos foi trabalhar no sentido de definição de carteiras profissionais para os trabalhadores da indústria de hotelaria, e, actualmente, estamos a caminhar para a aprovação final. . Reconheço que este é um grande desafio, teremos que trabalhar muito nesse sentido, e a sociedade tem um papel muito importante, que é de exigir em todo o sítio a qualidade.



MARCA MOÇAMBIQUE

A MARCA PROCURA RETRATAR A NOSSA SOCIEDADE

Também ao longo deste mandato foi lançada a marca Moçambique. Qual é o real alcance da criação desta marca? Quais são os públicos alvos? O que é que se pretende que esses públicos alvos percepcionem dessa marca?

Primeiro, dizer que o primeiro público alvo é o próprio moçambicano, porque nós procuramos retratar a nossa sociedade, o nosso país e a nossa riqueza a partir daquele logo, que é a marca. Mas também através de mensagens do logo.

Afinal, o que está subjacente nesta marca?

Em termos de marca ainda estamos no processo de comunicação. Tivemos um processo de comunicação anterior que foi muito discreto, que visava perceber das pessoas o que é que pensavam, o que é que sentiam do seu país. Então, toda essa opinião veio gerar a marca. Neste momento, temos que devolver a marca ao público moçambicano.

Normalmente, quando se fala de turismo no país, a ideia a que se remete é de turismo para estrangeiros. Será que o nosso turismo em Moçambique está orientado em grande medida para os estrangeiros e menos para os nacionais?

Tenho que dizer que não está. Nem que estivessse orientado estaria constantemente a ser contrariado, porque o moçambicano gosta de viajar, de visitar familiares. nos estamos em constante movimento e quando saimos de um lugar para o outro estamos a fazer turismo (...). Se procurar neste momento fazer reserva para o fim-do-ano em alguns estabelecimentos hoteleiros poderá ter dificuldades, e as dificuldades não serão porque vieram estrangeiros. Mas porque os moçambicanos teram feito reservas. O problema é todos e não só de Moçambique. nós queremos contrariar, não queremos dizer que o moçambicano deve deixar levar por isto, é que as estatísticas do turismo doméstico são difíceis a nível mundial. Se eu sair daqui para Inhambane tinha que colocar um poste para verificar, mas através do senso nacional, portanto, - este senso que nós terminamos e que está a ser avaliado -, o inquérito vai dizer quem tem viajado para onde, como é que ficamos um pouco com aquilo que é o turismo doméstico.

Coloco-lhe esta questão com alguma insistência porque uma das linhas de política definidas pelo governo para o sector do turismo no seu plano quinquenal é a promoção do turismo nacional como veículo de consolidação da unidade nacional e da valorização do património natural e cultural. Que acções concretas terá este turismo expontâneo que as pessoas fazem?

Bom, acções, umas já estão no terreno e estão a produzir efeitos, mas nós procuramos estimular e motivar o moçambicano a movimetar-se. Os festivais culturais que foram desenvolvidos com apoio de grandes empresas nacionais em Inhambane, Wimbe, na Ilha de Moçambique, no lago Niassa, são uma forma de estimular as pessoas a irem para lá. Portanto, nós desenvolvemos um festival e o resultado é : milhares e milhares de pessoas se deslocarem para um determinado ponto. Claro, quando agente promove um festival não diz: sabe de uma coisa é para promover turismo. Mas o que acontece é que é efectivamente o turismo que lá acontece.

Isso é do ponto de vista de actividade. E do ponto de vista de medidas de políticas?

Nós estamos na fase de conclusão de “namoro” com o sector privado. E o “namoro” é este: é que o regulamento da indústria hoteleira e similares definem que poderá haver preços especiais para moçambicanos, mas o governo não tomou uma decisão administrativa para esse efeito. O que se indicou é que se deveria trabalhar com o sector privado para se definir os termos.

Turismo é sustentável no país

O Turismo em Moçambique é um sector em franca expansão, com níveis de crescimento assinaláveis e que muitas vezes supera as expectativas do governo. Atendendo que um dos objetivos do governo neste mandato era de desenvolver um turismo responsável e sustentavel, o que é que está sendo feito de modo a que esta bolha não fuja ao controlo e resulte em efeitos nefastos?

Esta é uma das grandes preocupações do desenvolvimento do turismo em qualquer parte do mundo. nós podemos ter números astronómicos, mas estaríamos a fazer aquilo que algumas pessoas chamam de turismo de banana. é um turismo de massas, mas quando se fala de massas não é no nosso sentido popular que é de ter muita gente e pessoas sem muitas condições, que se deslocam a um determinado país, e o que mais deixam nesse país são problemas e não riqueza. então, por um turismo sustentável o que e que fizemos? Vemos o trabalho como uma máquina integrada, completa. Nós não desenvolvemos nenhum empreendimento turístico sem o estudo de impacto ambiental. o impacto ambiental pode ser veto para um determinado projecto.

Na dimensão social, o que é que se tem estado a fazer?

os empreendimentos quando acontecem num determinado local procuram fazer a integração das comunidades, por exemplo, Gorongosa tem feito um grande trabalho para as comunidades locais, é o nosso parque, é um parque do estado, é uma gestão conjunta com o sector privado, mas o estado está la.
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Old April 27th, 2009, 03:08 AM   #40
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Mundos Restaurant



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