Why Mozambique for your next conference or travel incentive?
Mozambique has a reputation for languid, luxury beach holidays at a fairly reasonable cost, but did you know that Mozambique means business?
With an ever-growing presence of multinationals and financial institutions, infrastructure development is increasing to accommodate this rapid development.
“Mozambique has become an attractive destination for business and commerce,” says Natalie Tenzer-Silva from Dana Tours, Mozambique’s largest DMC, based in Maputo.
Following Mozambique’s economic resurgence, Dana Tours has seen as much as 70% of their business driven from the corporate travel market. Which begs the question, why Mozambique should be considered as a key destination in Sub Saharan Africa for meetings and incentive travel?
Mozambique boasts an average growth rate of around 7.4%, which is attractive to foreign business, which results in a marked increase in business travel to this destination. The allure of doing business alongside azure beaches cannot be overlooked, but with the increase in conference business to Mozambique they have bolstered their offering. With the ever-growing growth in business in Mozambique they are seeing a marked increase in conferencing and events in the country.
South Africa is not the sole source of business travel into Mozambique. With the economic downturn in Europe, many European countries are looking at financially viable, luxury opportunities for their Meetings and Incentive travel, and for countries like Portugal, travel into Portuguese-speaking Mozambique is attractive and it offers real value for money.
Mozambique has seen an increase in popularity as a MICE destination and is experiencing significant growth in the MICE sector. 2015 was marked as bumper year in the conferencing and events sector in the country and it was noted that it is only just the beginning.
Maputo is currently the go to destination, merely because it is the capital where most of the multinational businesses have set up shop, but the advantage of Mozambique as a MICE travel destination is that it has so much more to offer.
The Business Year, in a 2015 article on MICE travel into Mozambique, commented that, “PowerPoint and coffee breaks have become a vital contributor to sector development,” in the country. Mozambique’s allure is that it brings a distinct flair of offering a uniquely African vibrancy in the experience, while offering hotels and conference infrastructure of world-class quality.
More so it offers leisure activities that are often unparalleled, whether it is a desire for post meeting deep sea fishing or a safari type experience, getting up close with elephants, all combined with the heat of Africa and the indelible touch of the Portuguese influence.
USAID report Tourism Competitiveness In Light Of a Natural Resource Boom (2014) identifies the corporate travel value chain as underpinning the Mozambican tourism industry. It further lists the main destination for business and corporate travel as, “Maputo, with Pemba, Tete and Beira emerging as important secondary centers.”
Access is another key factor that makes Mozambique an attractive destination for MICE travel. There are direct flights from Johannesburg to Maputo, Vilanculos, Nacala, Nampula, Beira and Pemba, for example and as demand increases more routes and flights could open up into Mozambique.
Infrastructure from hotels and conference venues is of an international standard in Mozambique and the industry quality is ever increasing, which bodes well for future MICE travel into this destination.
The Mozambican climate is also a key factor building the MICE industry into the country with average winter temperatures reaching 30°C daily. It allows the perfect opportunity for business travellers to mix business and leisure from June to October, where although drier, the weather still remains balmy and tropical and allows for great incentive travel beach and safari experiences post conference.
All good to know, but it is essential to acknowledge what challenges may lay ahead. Language could be a challenge in booking a MICE experience into Mozambique, so it important to book through a reputable operator such as the likes of Dana Tours that offer a bilingual team to ensure a seamless experience.
Portuguese is the lingua franca in Mozambique, so it really becomes important that the chosen service provider is a reputable one and offers dual language assistance and translation services for conferencing and events to avoid costly miscommunications.
The team at Dana Tours also caution that transport is key and must be terrain appropriate.
As in any emerging MICE destination there will be a little snag list while the industry builds. Reputable tour operators will be able to be an essential buffer against most pitfalls.
A key tip from the Dana Tours team to assist clients is that they have key relationships with local co-ordinators, as well as a keen understanding of cultural protocol, can assist with language, and these relationships with quality service providers ultimately ensure that time and money are not wasted when booking a conference of incentive travel experience to Mozambique.