Mozambique: Tourism and post-crisis sustainability opportunities

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i-see global research February 2010Mozambique: Mozambique: Tourism and post-crisissustainability opportunitiesThe fi nancial crisis has not merely delayed major investment decisions in Mozambique’s tourismsector, it has altered their complexion. Adapting to the ‘new normal’ and anticipating future trends will ensure that new private sector partners will be in it for the long-term and Mozambique can make the most of this changing global landscape. A crise fi nanceira não só atrasou investimento importante no setor do turismo em Moçambique, mudou a sua complexão. Ao se adaptar ao ‘novo normal’ e prevendo tendencias futuras, o país vai assegurar que novos parceiros do sector privado vão ser comprometidos ao largo prazo e queo Moçambique vai poder aproveitar deste cenário global que está mudando.* By Jimmy Greer 2010 will be a year of slow recovery for the glob-al economy, refl ecting the scale of retrenchment of companies desperate to repair balance sheets and the switch to saving for overleveraged con-sumers realising there was no more credit left in the tank. Of all sectors, global tourism will take longer than most to recover - both from a construc-tion and investment standpoint, and a visitor perspective. Retrenchment was swift, deep and over-cautious, highlighting the extreme volatility of world fi nancial fl ows and the extent of over-reach.As momentum picks up and recovery becomes more solid, investors will return to their pros-pects. Mozambique can fi nd its place in the new global economy by offering a destination for traditional and new investors against a back-drop of safer, less fl ight-prone capital. Initially these partnerships may not be as large in scale as those on the table at the time of the crisis. However, as this piece will aim to show, they will become central components in demonstrating that Mozambique is a destination well tuned to new global realities, setting new standards and attracting high quality investors.www.i-seeglobal.comi-see global research February 2010New horizons, new targetsing on the brink of collapse, they still have a sig-nifi cant role to play - albeit in an altered shape. Amidst the rubble of the global economy, new Their intrusion on a natural landscape, engineer-ing of the natural environment and attempts to perceptions and new poles of infl uence have impose an identikit set of values and culture by emerged. One idea expressed is that there force, can seem anathema to the whole spirit of now is little distinction between developed and visiting a foreign country. Indeed, in this context, emerging markets as a good place for capital. their aims do not seem to fi t with Mozambique In contrast to the developed world (where the Minister of Tourism’s asserted aim of:spectre of sovereign debt looms!), so-called emerging markets now offer returns with equal, if not more, stability alongside greater returns. “positioning Mozambique as one of the premier This opening up of emerging markets by the in- destinations in Africa through emphasis on qual-vestment community has drawn in new groups. ity coastal resort development linked to a diversi-It has also shone the spotlight on Africa. This ex- ty of fl ora and fauna, eco-tourism opportunities, tra focus on Africa has drawn out further distinc- adventure and culture experiences.’’tions. Stable democracies, with well-managed economies such as Mozambique are entering the Mozambique, in its current period of expan-orbit of a new range of investor (and visitor) for sion will, over the long-term, see its fair share whom Africa had previously not been on the ra- of large integrated resorts constructed by com-dar. Further exposure has come from the work mitted partners. These high quality, high volume in the region of some the world’s largest servic- resorts have a signifi cant role to play when es-es companies, particularly from the ICT sector, tablished against rigorous frameworks that em-whom, in contrast to mineral extraction compa- bed their presence into selected areas and cre-nies, interact broadly with government and soci- ate high quality benefi t sharing opportunities in ety to achieve their operating and employment and environmental conservation. The social, environmental and eco-Additionally, this time round, what will be more nomic impact of these large-scale resorts will be certain is that funds of private investors will be as central a component to both parties (govern-more real – not part of an overleveraged global ment and investor) as they will be to visitors.paper trail. Those once buoyed by cheap credit, though lacking in expertise are no longer in busi- Fitting into the global sustainability ness. This should be welcome. Confi dence in the conversationpromises of new private sector investors should be greater and create a self-reinforcing cycle. Solid prospects, turning to solid investments, Mozambique’s potential to shine as a leading building profi le and respect amongst other po- global sustainable tourism destination should tential high quality investors.not be underplayed. When all the elements are put together set against global trends post-crisis, the chance to create a truly leading proposition Megaprojects and the crisisis clear. Its stable economy has been noted for not enduring severing pain during the global fi -As the work of the IFC Anchor Programme has nancial crisis. Its abundance of sites ready for demonstrated, the crisis had a profound effect signifi cant development and ably promoted by on the way people look at investing in new tour- the government, IFC and other institutional part-ism sites. Gone (for now) are the large projects. ners has laid the right foundations, particularly While it is easy to view these large-scale projects in addressing business environment constraints. as being a bellwether of a global economy teeter- Its outstanding natural beauty and lack of poor www.i-seeglobal.comi-see global research February 2010quality tourism development sets it even further Further thinkingapart from its peers. This is a vision for tourism that incorporates eco- Get in touch to discuss the recommendations tourism and its passion for rural development; and ideas of this paper in more detail. adventure tourism and its close attachment to Specifi cally:nature and an approach to resort tourism that is rigorous and groundbreaking in managing and - Global corporate sustainability standards measuring its social, economic and environmen- around construction, and tourism tal impacts, not only to the highest international development.standards but more importantly, to a set of indi-cators designed by stakeholders that fi t the spe- - Sustainable investment standards and cifi c scenario. Sustainable tourism as an umbrella practices.incorporates inclusive tourism and the concept of - Latest thinking on sustainability and universal design as a key feature. Demonstration tourism.of leadership in this particular fi eld will serve as recognition of equality and the help foster the - Positioning and marketing of Mozambique development of a two-way culture of respect for as a leading sustainable tourism destination.the individual, key to the social sustainability of projects. - Leading practice in issue and stakeholder identifi cation.While community-based tourism, for example, - Impact management, measurement and may seem small scale in terms of impact on reporting. the national economy, it is far reaching. It’s low negative impact can play its role in developing the tools needed to deliver sustainable tourism across other areas while spreading the word around a global network of potential visitors and * para receber uma versão deste texto em investors about the leadership of Mozambique in português, favor email [email protected] com this fi eld.‘traduçao’ como sujeitoAs ideas around sustainability become more Get in touchmainstream and embedded into business culture and investment decisions, Mozambique can posi-tion itself to become a leading sustainable tour- i-see global provides social, economic and ism destination for investors and visitors. While environmental thinking for a rebalancing world.the global crisis put a severe dent into well laid plans, the recovery period has levelled the play- To fi nd out more contact Jimmy Greer:ing fi eld and broadened the minds of many in- e: [email protected] vestors and visitors on the lookout for new lead- or visit: ers. Keeping visible to both investors and visitors within this emerging sustainability paradigm will enable the country’s tourism sector to capitalise on new