MADRID, Spain & LONDON, UK – “We support tourism as an area of major importance in our agenda to fight poverty,” said Mozambique’s President, Armando Guebuza. The President was speaking after joining the UNWTO/WTTC Global Leaders for Tourism Campaign (Maputo, Mozambique, June 28, 2011).
“Given its impact in terms of jobs and income and considering its multiplier effects in other areas of the economy, tourism has proven to be a sector of high relevance in the socio-economic development of our country,” said President Guebuza.
President Guebuza received an Open Letter from UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifai and World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) President & CEO David Scowsill highlighting travel and tourism as one of the most effective solutions to today’s global challenges.
During his official visit to Mozambique, Mr. Rifai also met Prime Minister Aires Ali, who reiterated the government’s commitment to tourism. “We are fully committed to the development of tourism in Mozambique, as the government has recognized the sector as strategic for the overall development of the country,” he said.
“Mozambique has unique resources to advance tourism and make of it a real driver to improve the lives of its people. Moreover, it has the political will to do so. This is confirmed by President Guebuza joining our campaign, but also by the fact that tourism is extensively featured in the government plan for the coming years,” said Mr. Rifai. “The plan identifies tourism as a strategic sector in the socio-economic development of the country, contributing to job creation, income generation, and the strengthening of national unity.”
David Scowsill, President & CEO, WTTC, said: “The tourism potential of Mozambique speaks for itself, with 2700 km of tropical coastline, a variety of ecological systems that are rich in species and a rich historic cultural heritage, but most significantly, the Mozambican government has recognized the opportunities for economic growth and job creation through tourism.”
“The total contribution of travel and tourism to Mozambique’s GDP, including its wider economic impacts, is forecast to rise by 6.4% each year over the next 10 years. By 2021, travel and tourism will support over 700,000 jobs in Mozambique,” David continued.
With over 2 million international tourist arrivals in 2010, Mozambique is becoming one of the most important destinations in Sub-Saharan Africa. International tourism revenues of US$1 billion represent 9% of Mozambique’s total exports.