From:  Moçambique: Increasing economic growth and political stability in the post civil-war era:  Useful strategies:  Summary of an organizational consultation completed in November 1991

© 1992, 1999, 2016 by Stan De Loach, Ph.D., organizational consultant

4.  Tourism: Stable source of economic, cultural, and political enrichment

Tourism is an acceptable and viable source of currency from abroad.  Income from tourism can be increased without significant expenditures.  A portion of world tourism places a positive value on travel within developing nations.

Tourists are prepared to finance visits to developing nations because they find that, even with the presence of undeniable inconveniences, the experience is emotionally and intellectually stimulating, educational, and rewarding.  In reality, numerous foreign tourists accept and enjoy the level of service and availability of goods found in Moçambique.  While their numbers and expenditures may not be excessive, their requirements in regard to food and lodging are adequately met by current conditions in the country.

The favorability with which tourists view travel to a country is closely tied to an accommodating infrastructure.  An accommodating infrastructure provides a) simplicity of entry and exit procedures, b) rational monetary conversion policies and practices that eliminate black market operations, c) a comprehensive and reliable national transportation network, d) ready access to tourist information, and e) regular and honest publicity. Moçambique possesses numerous physical and cultural attributes attractive to tourists.  The climate, beaches, people, folklore, and cuisine are above average.

The promotion of tourism should first be directed to those persons who travel for the enjoyment of the physical attributes of a country and to those persons who seek acquaintance with political and social systems different from their own.  Appeal to such travelers obviates the necessity of large or immediate capital expenditures.  It addresses a manageable number of international tourists whose expectations and needs are likely to be satisfied during a visit to Moçambique.

Paradoxically, promoting a manageable increase in foreign visitors during periods of political crisis is rational for reasons not wholly economic.  Foreign tourists supply psychological support to a people.  Their presence builds morale and resolve to develop and improve.  It can instill new ideas, admiration, envy, or disdain, which in turn can heighten a people's determination and ambition.  Interaction with people of other creeds, traditions, and political systems stimulates self-esteem and pride in national locales and customs.

Few circumstances lead more quickly to despair than a people's isolation and sense of separation from world affairs.  International tourism reduces the real and perceived isolation of the country.  An influx of tourists can reduce perceptions of noninvolvement in the shared struggles of the world community and can diminish (or sometimes increase) dissatisfaction with the incumbent political organization.

Foreigners’ deliberate and premeditated expense of personal income on a visit to Moçambique awakens an awareness of outside interest in the country and its people.  It also heightens the citizens’ concern with the domestic scene.  Tourism encourages optimism by hinting at the willingness of other nations to collaborate with Moçambique in its progress toward economic and social well-being.

Interaction with foreigners, whether present as tourists, consultants, educators, collaborators, or exchange partners, tends to keep a nation's mentality current.  Through such interaction, a nation imports ideas prevailing in other countries where the search for prosperity, excellence, and justice is also active.

Some of these ideas may not be in accord with the incumbent government's views.  Even when they directly challenge the government's point of view, they rarely pose a genuine threat to internal political stability.  Almost inevitably, these ideas or trends eventually enter the nation's mentality by some route.  By permitting and tolerating the entry of ideas from outside the country, the government indicates confidence and trust in its constituency's capacity to exercise the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.

The success of tourism is determined not only by economic benefit, but also by its social and political consequences.  At this time, the introduction of tourism in Moçambique should be limited, in order to be successful.  The arrival of too many tourists can over-burden inadequate facilities and lead to unfavorable publicity.

The number of tourists welcomed should correspond to the nation's capacity to provide them with food, shelter, security, and transportation.  As a general rule, the number of serviceable first- and second-class hotel beds in urban areas is an approximate measure of the number of tourists that the country can handle.  While luxurious facilities are not required, adequate and basically sanitary conditions are essential.

The safety of tourists, not only from active acts of violence such as guerrilla activity, but also from passive victimization by abusive and corrupt representatives of national and local governments is essential.  For this reason, tourism might initially be restricted to specific areas of the country.

Either an excessive discrepancy between tourists' expectations and the facilities and services actually offered or the nonexistence of facilities and services to satisfy the basic needs of the number of tourists admitted is highly detrimental to the nation's touristic reputation.  The general cleanliness of the nation and the attitudes of the people toward foreigners (especially in regard to their nationality or country of origin) are other key elements in a good reputation as a tourist destination.

Damage to this reputation, especially when due to indifference, carelessness, or dishonesty, initiates negative publicity and a decline in tourism.  Negative publicity in the local or international media or by word-of-mouth can quickly jeopardize a potentially enduring source of pleasure, income, resources, and human enrichment for the country.

The elimination of practices prejudicial to tourism and business should be effected.  Because airlines operating in Moçambique comprise the principal links between foreign tourism and the country, they should be enabled to operate honestly and efficiently.  The national airline is often the first source of contact between the potential tourist and the experience of Moçambique.  This contact should be a positive experience.

The national airline's habit of overbooking and selling non-available seats on international and internal flights should cease.  Customers should not be subjected to practices that complicate their travel plans and add unpredictability to their expenses.

Dealings with hotels, restaurants, and government dependencies should convince foreign tourists of the essential integrity and honesty of the nation.  Experiences with practices or personnel that inconvenience, rob, endanger, or unreasonably detain visitors to the country have long-lasting negative influence on international travelers' destination preferences.

In addition to their benefits to the health of the resident population, the cleanliness and tidiness of a country increase visitors' appreciation and enjoyment.  Cleanliness also contributes to self-esteem and civic pride.  Schools play a role in educating the public to the health and aesthetic benefits of tidiness and cleanliness.  The government should also encourage hygiene through the television and other media.  The appearances of cities through which visitors pass should become the concern of public and private campaigns.

Beaches and city centers currently require increased attention to sanitation.  A corps of unemployed youth, paid minimum wages by the government, might be recruited to maintain the neatness of the beaches and streets.  The personnel employed to attend city parks provide an excellent and successful model for such a program.

For example, garbage cans are needed and should be installed in strategic locations on all beaches and public thoroughfares.  Notices of imminent penalties for littering might be posted as an educational tool, even when no fine is immediately levied.  After two or three years, during which awareness of the problem of littering is raised, genuine enforcement of a no-littering policy might be implemented.

Legislation to require a refundable deposit on all disposable containers of glass, plastic, or metal substantially facilitates litter-reduction campaigns in developing countries.  The sale of soft drinks should be permitted only in reusable containers.  Recycling efforts reduce litter and provide an economical source of materials for paper, glass, and aluminum products.  Technical and financial collaboration is available from foreign industry to support the undertaking of national attempts at recycling.
 

Reports on consultations in other areas:
1.    Steps to stimulate and reward excellence
2.    Immigration policies
3.    Transportation
4.    Tourism: Stable source of economic, cultural, and political enrichment
5.    Education and the welfare of children
6.    Stimulating the production of key agricultural products
7.    Export strategies
8.    Rational tax and tariff structures
9.    Appeal to donated (and handy) resources
10.  Managing corruption in government personnel and services
11.  Political decision-making for long-range progress



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