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Tourism And Politics

Statue of Samora Machel, Mozambique's First President, Baixa District, Maputo

Statue of Samora Machel, Mozambique’s First President, Baixa District, Maputo

Mozambique is another example how vulnerable the tourist industry is. Even minor incidents can quickly lead to an exodus of tourists. In Mozambique’s case it was skirmishes near Beira between political parties competing in the upcoming election. This led to traffic restrictions on the stretch between Vilanculo and Beira. Cars and busses had to travel in convoys. All this was dragged through in the South African media and immediately a rush of cancelations set in. With South Africans being the main customers, it is definitely hurting Tofo and Vilanculos.

Also the few European and Asian tourists that come here to test the chilly waters in the Southern winter are just a trickle of the normal crowd. Even though the last incident happened half a year ago in the Sofanalo Province, far north of the main tourist areas of Tofo and Vilanculo, we could feel the effect immediately. On our first stroll through the tiny village of Tofo, we immediately noticed that there were a lot less tourists than two years ago…

An interesting aspect of this political quarrel is the demand so popular in conflict zones nowadays: Let’s split the country in half, right along the Tete Corridor. The traditionally poorer north is now boom area, with its large coal and gas deposits that have been discovered in the past years. With all this money around, “wanna-be in power” have popped up and started challenging the more developed south.

Mozambique Flag, Inhambane Airport, Inhambane, Mozambique

Mozambique Flag, Inhambane Airport, Inhambane, Mozambique


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