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Project Objective

The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in collaboration with Ministry for Coordination of Environmental Affairs (MICOA) and Priority Actions Programme/Regional Activity Centre are implementing the project entitled “Protection and Management of the Marine and Coastal Areas in the Eastern African Region (EAF/5)”. In Mozambique, after accomplishing The Management Strategy for the Xai-Xai District Coastal Area in 1997, FAO embarked on the elaboration of the Integrated Development Plan for Xai-Xai Beach (IDP) as a second phase of the EAF/5 project.

The main objective of IDP is to provide a new model of coastal zone planning and management to reverse the existing trend of an ad hoc and haphazard development towards an organised and effective sustainable development in the Xai-Xai Beach area, targeting at both private and public sectors.

Tourism Development Framework

The ICAM Strategy compiled for Xai-Xai district coastal area as a pilot site in Mozambique pointed to tourism as the obvious catalyst to drive all further development in the area. Recommendations made are based on an assessment of both of the demand and supply aspects defining the tourism potential of Xai- Xai Beach. Finally, the Tourism Development Framework is structured, recommending a sustainable and inclusive way to develop Xai-Xai Beach’s resources in such a manner as to satisfy the needs of the tourist, the host community and the tourism industry.

According to the UNDP/WTO study performed in 1994, South Africa (75%) and Zimbabwe (25%) dominate the regional market. These markets focus exclusively on beach tourism, fishing and diving. The total potential demand constituted by residents from these two countries was estimated at 1.3 million people per annum.

South Africans is expected to dominate the Mozambican tourism market to the extent of generating as much as 60%, or more, of the total market (inter- and intra/regional). Xai-Xai Beach’s tourism potential is primarily based upon its natural resources and more specifically its pristine and tourist friendly beaches, combined with its mild climate, marine resource reserve, sense of place and concentrated growth.

Physical Plan

The planned area consists of a ten kilometre strip three kilometres wide along the coast of the Gaza Province and is focussed on Xai-Xai Beach. The basic aim of this chapter is to elaborate the physical and functional framework for the development of the Xai-Xai town coastal area into a major tourist destination. The framework consists of a physical plan that is linked to development strategies. The aspects that are covered in this chapter are:

  • Summary of existing development, concessions and development proposals;

  • Development suitability analysis;

  • Development constraints, potential and threats;

  • Development concept; and

  • Development framework.

The objectives of the physical development framework is to define a framework for sustainable development and future investment so as to minimise conflicts between different land uses and to stimulate development of strategic areas.

The planning process consisted of following steps:

  • Analysis of the existing state of affairs;

  • Determining development potential and constraints

  • Drafting of a development concept and structure plan

  • Assessing the impact of the development proposals and considering alternatives

  • Elaboration of a master plan

  • Detail planning of priority areas

These criteria were applied to the site and by making trade-offs between the various criteria the suitability analysis was done. About 850 ha has been identified for possible development of various land uses which can accommodate up to 25,000 tourists and local residents. The areas suitable for development stretch


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