Human Resource Development and SME Development in Inhamabane, Mozambique

27 Feb 18

Location

Inhambane, Mozambique

Over the course of a decade and within the framework of the ST-EP Initiative, UNWTO implemented various project activities in Inhambane, Mozambique, aimed at enhancing the local economic impact from tourism in the area through human resources development and SME development in the tourism sector.

Over the years, different phases of the project received generous financial and technical assistance from various development partners, including the ST-EP Foundation, the Netherlands Development Organisation SNV, the Flemish Government, and the Government of Macau S.A.R. China. Further, the project created synergies with the Africa Coastal Tourism Programme, a GEF-funded project executed by UNIDO in collaboration with UNWTO, and the High Impact Tourism Training Programme, an EU-funded project implemented by SNV with UNWTO as associated agency. Inhambane was a pilot destination in both of these programmes, and several of the ST-EP project activities were be strengthened by the research and capacity building activities carried out by these programmes.

A major success by the ST-EP project has been the establishment of a multi-stakeholder platform, including tour operators, hotels and restaurants, which addresses marketing issues that had previously been identified as a major challenge for the destination. As a result, tourism enterprises collectively participate in international tourism trade shows, and are jointly promoting the destination to long-haul tourists. This is perceived as an important step, as Inhambane is trying to diversify from the traditional regional market focusing on drive-in and self-catering. Long-haul international tourists spend more in the local economy and tend to have a higher interest in learning about the local culture.

Human resources development has been the flagship of the ST-EP project in Inhambane. Over 600 local people, mainly women and youth, have been trained in different tourism subjects, including housekeeping, hospitality, food preparation and tour guiding. The training has resulted in an improved level of service delivery in the sector, which has had a positive impact on the economic performance of individual enterprises as well as on the competitiveness of the Inhambane destination as a whole. For the local people, job security in the tourism sector has improved, and the training has provided opportunities to obtain temporary employment in the tourism sector in the peak season (summer), which happens to be the season when demand for labour in other sectors, in particular agriculture, is relatively low.

For SME development, training on business management has been provided to 21 owners/managers of small tourism enterprises. Further, the project has provided micro finance to 9 small enterprises dealing with handicrafts production, supply of fruits, vegetables and eggs, organization of sailing tours and preparation of local meals. Successes have especially been booked with establishing business linkages for the local supply of agricultural products to hotels and restaurants, and with assisting handicraft producers to get better access to the tourism market. A group of 20 handicraft producers has been supported by providing a space where they can sell their souvenirs to tourists.

The project has shown that a focus on human resource development in tourism can not only help to create new employment opportunities, but also helps tourism employees to get more stable and better paid jobs.