MOZAMBIQUE OPENS NEW TOURISM AREAS

MOZAMBIQUE'S government has declared 8250 hectares of new tourist zones in the country's central and northern provinces, it was reported yesterday.

MOZAMBIQUE'S government has declared 8250 hectares of new tourist zones in the country's central and northern provinces, it was reported yesterday.

Cabinet approved the declaration to improve the investment climate and business environment, government spokesperson Henrique Banze said.

The areas range from 80hectares to 2750 hectares and are spread out over woodlands and beaches in the southern provinces Inhambane and Nampula as well as northern provinces Cabo Delgado and Niassa.

Some factors that influenced the decision were tourism potential, existing development projects in the areas, unique natural resources and historical or cultural interest, said Banze.

Mozambique is a popular spot both for South African investors and tourists.

Its idyllic beaches and warm climate attract many holiday-makers interested in camping, fishing, surfing and diving activities.

Many South Africans also own or manage resorts along the tropical paradise's coast.

Tourism made the country $200million (about R1,5billion) in 2009, with 1,5million holiday-makers visiting South Africa's sunny neighbour, a government minister announced in December.

Recently, a company jointly owned by South Africans lost its permit to develop an island in the north of the country.

Authorities said the permit was revoked because no construction took place on the island since the permit was granted two years ago.

However, a local newspaper recently reported that the island had been advertised illegally for sale on an Internet real estate website. - Sapa

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