Natural gas might seem the obvious investment story for Mozambique, and there is no doubt that with the discovery offshore of the world’s 14th largest reserves by volume ¹ the country’s economy will in time be transformed. But while operators struggle with technical and logistical challenges, as well as the current market glut of LNG, other investment opportunities are coming to the fore, not least travel and tourism.
According to the World Economic Forum, Mozambique is expected to be one of the 10 fastest growing destinations for leisure travel between 2016 and 2026 ². With its pristine beaches, miles of undeveloped Indian Ocean coastline and oh-so tempting Portuguese-influenced cuisine, it is not difficult to see why it is being labelled as the ‘new Seychelles’.
Flagged by the Mozambican government as one of its four strategic sectors, measures have been taken to encourage growth in the industry including establishing Special Tourism Development Zones, tax breaks for investments in hotels and other tourist facilities, as well as making it easy and cheap for visitors to get a visa on arrival. Airports have also been expanded and modernised while Mozambican airspace has been liberalised to encourage more international and domestic flights in the country.
Aside from the impressive forecasts and potential, there is no getting away from the fact that Mozambique’s travel and tourism infrastructure remains woefully underdeveloped. Particularly when you consider that the sector is roughly the same size in absolute terms as its equivalent in the Seychelles, a small archipelago of 455 square kilometres with a population of less than 100,000. But with an economic boom on the horizon from the extractives sectors (mining is also a significant contributor to the economy) then the potential is there, not least for the hotel industry, to cater to visitors across the spectrum.
Through the lens of ClarifiedBy
Based on Diligencia’s research, only 11 international hotel groups currently operate in Mozambique, and 4 of them are Portuguese hotel chains. All groups have at least one hotel located in the capital Maputo and most of them rely on business travelers. Marriott International and City Lodge are expected to open in the capital soon.
|HOTEL GROUPS||COUNTRY OF ORIGIN||REGION||LEGAL NAMES (w/ links to profiles)|
|Avenida Empreendimentos Turisticos e Hoteleiros Limitada|
|Sociedade Hotel Tivoli Limitada|
|Tivoli Beira Hotelaria e Servicos Limitada|
|Montebelo Hotels & Resorts||Portugal||Maputo
|Turvisa Empreendimentos Turisticos SA|
|Pestana Hotel Group||Portugal||Maputo
|Salvor Hoteis Moçambique, Investimentos Turísticos, S.A.R.L|
|Salvor Hoteis, S.A.R.L.|
|Gloria Hotels & Resorts||China||Maputo||Maputo Afecc Gloria Hotel SA|
|Anantara Minor Group Hotels||Thailand||Maputo
|Cabo Delgado Hoteis e Resorts Limitada|
|Serena Hotels||Kenya||Maputo||Hoteis Polana SA|
|Southern Sun Mocambique Limitada|
|Tete Ferry Sun SA|
|Group VIP Hotels||Portugal||Maputo
|Grupo Vip Actividades Hoteleiras SARL|
|Radisson Blu||USA||Maputo||Fenix Projectos e Investimentos Limitada|
|Meliã Hotels & Resorts||Spain||Maputo||Hoti Maputo Hoteis Limitada|
|Afrin Imobiliaria Limitada|
|Sociedade de Turismo Triunfo Limitada|
|Hotel Turismo SARL|
As the economy continues to grow and develop across the board, there is clearly a need and an opportunity for new hotels throughout the country – only then can Mozambique get close to realising its potential as the new Seychelles. Prego roll, anyone?!
¹ US Energy Information Administration, 2016
² World Economic Forum, The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2017