Xai-Xai IDP – TOURISM DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK
In the light of the above it is, therefore, recommended that development of infrastructure in and around Xai-Xai Beach proper (the current town) be guided by a building code designed to protect Xai-Xai’s architectural heritage. Such a building code need not be cumbersome, but if carefully compiled can add a lot of value for investors.
2.5.2 Strategy of Concentrated Growth
If the growth potential in Xai-Xai Beach and environs is to be realised the current growth strategies will have to be revised. This chapter aims to propose a revision of existing strategies aimed at putting the sustainable development of Xai-Xai Beach on track.
Tourism authorities in the Gaza province, as well as expectant communities waiting for the golden tourism goose to start laying her eggs, have been greatly disappointed at both the rate and the level of development taking place along their coast. A great contributor to this state of affairs is the manner in which investment opportunities and investors are brought together in order to effect development. Authorities have thus far been acting in a re-active manner by waiting for investors to approach them with requests for development concessions. In the absence of a appropriate development plan(s), this approach was the only feasible way to administrate the allocation of sites for development purposes.
As a result of the absence of development plans based on inputs from the ICAM Strategy, prior to the allocation of development concessions, the following negative outcomes have resulted in the Xai-Xai Beach - Chongoene area:
Prime commercial tourism sites have been allocated to opportunistic investors who often lack the commitment, experience and often the financial backing to successfully implement their projects and to carry it to maturity, thus contributing to Mozambique’s desired tourism image;
Reputable investors feel insecure due to a lack of planning and commitment from regional authorities regarding the supply of infrastructure and services necessary to sustain upmarket tourism facilities;
Owners of concessions are in some cases not able to start with development due to the lack of infrastructure and primary services;
Owners of concessions feel insecure and are postponing development as they are often unsure as to the exact location of their sites and as to the other development planned for the area; and
General confusion reigns, impacting negatively on investor confidence and ultimately on tourism growth.
By applying the framework laid down in the IDP as a norm guiding all future investment, this negative state of affairs may be redressed. Having identified the potential of the various sites along the coast, authorities can now pro-actively approach blue-chip investors and tourism operators with concession offers for the most valuable sites. In addition, measures required for the provision of infrastructure and the supply of primary services to allocated concessions may be taken in time to arrange for the institutional financing thereof.
This approach will enable the custodians of Xai-Xai Beach to dictate to a large extent the quality of development to take place, thus ensuring the sustainable development of the resort town, not only from an environmental perspective, but also from an economical perspective.
Another detrimental effect of the current approach to awarding concessions is that land is being awarded in leaps and bounds. This not only negatively impacts on the value of concessions – the values are low due to a high supply, but also complicates the supply of infrastructure and services due to the distance of these concessions from the existing infrastructure.