Real Estate news - Moz's tourism boom

The five-star lodge at this luxury bush and beach resort in Mozambique (overlooking Pemba Bay) is on the market for US$2.95-million.

World renowned for its pristine white sand beaches, rich coral reefs, virgin coastline and unique, exotic culture, Mozambique is rapidly becoming a magnet for tourists, particularly those from Southern Africa, Europe and the United States. In 2008 some 1.7-million tourists visited Mozambique, the bulk from neighbouring South Africa.

According to Mozambique's Ministry of Tourism, between 2005 and 2008 the average annual investment in tourism in the country was US$600-million which during 2007 peaked at a high of US$977-million. The Ministry also states that the capacity of the country's hotel industry has been increasing at an average annual rate of 12 percent with the number of beds in excess of 17 500 in 2008, up from 15 000 in 2005. This sector is now employing over 40 000 people of which more than half are women.

The Ministry of Tourism estimates that the known revenue from foreign tourists visiting Mozambique increased from US$129-million in 2005 to US$185-million in 2008. The number of foreign visitors has more than doubled, growing from 711 000 in 2004 to over 1.5-million in 2008. Tourism Minister Fernando Sumbana is quoted as saying that the sharp growth demonstrates that tourism is an important option for sustaining the national economy and that distribution of wealth throughout the tourism chain contributes to the elimination of poverty.

Ever increasing share of the world tourism

"Africa is consistently capturing an ever increasing share of the world's tourism market," comments Leonard Brewer, a director of Pam Golding Lodges and Guesthouses (PGLAG) — a member of Pam Golding Hospitality. "Mozambique, with its stable government and unique African appeal — which includes Portuguese and Arabic influences — is ideally placed to capitalise on this growing trend. With income from the tourism sector reportedly doubling over the past four years its government has prioritised tourism as a key driver of the economy, itself making a significant investment in tourism infrastructure as well as pro-actively promoting investment in the country. As South Africa is the host country for the 2010 Soccer World Cup, this event will provide a further boost for Mozambique as a cross-border tourism destination," he says.

"Home to the Quirimbas Archipelago, spectacular Pemba Bay (the third largest bay in the world and a member of UNESCO's 30 most beautiful bays in the world), Niassa Game Reserve and Pemba International Airport, the northern region of Mozambique appears to be the most popular area of the country among tourists," says Brewer. "World renowned, the Quirimbas Archipelago is a tropical paradise with numerous small islands seasonally frequented by whales, whale sharks, turtles and dolphins. Significantly, in terms of tourism accommodation, the demand considerably exceeds the supply which opens up lucrative opportunities for the hospitality industry," he adds.

Examples of what's currently being marketed are two prime investment options which are being sold as going concerns, both located in Quirimbas.

Your own private island

The first of these is a 75 hectare private island and five-star lodge which includes eight spacious luxury guest villas each with lounge and deck, main building with restaurant, bar and lounge area, deck with swimming pool, well-equipped kitchen, manager's accommodation, two chalets for visitors/guides and two staff villages currently under construction. Just 45 minutes by small plane from Pemba International Airport, this idyllic location with 1.5 kilometres of tropical beach and some smaller beaches offers a wide variety of activities including scuba diving, game fishing and snorkelling. Northern Mozambique is expected to become the next tourism hotspot for beach and bush based holidays with the vast and as yet nearly untouched 42 000km² Niassa Game Reserve just an hour away by small aeroplane.

Priced at €6.5-million, or part ownership available, the property caters for both overseas and local markets. This establishment offers a daily housekeeping and laundry service, boat cruises and other water-based activities. A runway of 900m is provided but not yet surfaced.

In a prime location overlooking spectacular Pemba Bay is an exclusive five-star beach and bush resort which incorporates a luxury boutique lodge, comprising seven ocean view resort villas and 10 residential seaside plots — four of which are already sold — on which private villas can be built. Fifteen minutes by boat from Pemba International Airport, set on a peninsula inhabited by a variety of species of wildlife and in a buffer zone of the Quirimbas National Park, this establishment is set amid lush virgin African baobab bush with abundant coral reefs. The price for the lodge is US$2.95-million.

Combines the appealing concept of a beach and bush experience

"This is a year round destination highly desirable among international tourists as it combines the appealing concept of a beach and bush experience," says Brewer. The property is 38 hectares in size. Committed to wildlife conservation and involved in the local community of the village, this establishment offers a sustainable and eco-friendly tourism concept."

The main lodge includes a pool bar, huge cliff-edge terrace, dining room, kitchen, reception, lounge area, two first floor bedrooms en suite with private verandas, library, cigar bar and a large veranda ideal for private functions with sweeping ocean views. There is a mangrove beach bar set on stilts with a large wooden deck and island table for two ideal for sunset drinks or romantic dinners at the water's edge and a cliff-edge spa. The seven ocean view resort villas (with permission for 10) are located seven metres high on a cliff overlooking the bay and include a spectacular baobab tree villa.

Activities include bush walks, diving, game and fly fishing, dolphin and whale viewing, deep sea fishing, bird watching and sunset sailing. This is an area where sea turtles migrate and lay their eggs on the beach in season with the coastal bush home to elephant, leopard, kudu and numerous small game.

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