Thu, 20 Apr 2017 11:58 - Updated Thu, 20 Apr 2017 11:58
Hotels and Tourism, a past to forget, a future to bet on
Saurimo - Since peace was achieved in 2002, Angola entered the route of Africa’s tourist destinations, which has motivated the Government to create policies for the modernisation and expansion of the hotel network and update legislation.
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Lunda Sul: HOTEL GALITO (now CHICK CHICK)
Photo: Helder Dias
Lunda Sul: Hotels under construction
Photo: Helder Dias
By Silvina Lembeno
At a time Angola is experiencing a difficult economic and financial situation, due to the negative variation in the price of oil (country’s main export product) in the international market, the Hotel and Tourism sector has received a special attention due to the diversification of the economy underway.
Based on this, investments are being made for the expansion of the hotel network and, at the same time, measures are being taken to improve the quality of the services provided by them.
Along these lines, the country has recently updated much of the legislation governing the sector in order to "make life easier" for market operators and recipients of these services, to modernise it, create new jobs and earn more revenue for the State’s coffers.
Situation of the sector in Lunda Sul before peace was attained
With the armed conflict experienced in Angola until 2002, when peace was attained, most of the economic and social infrastructure was destroyed. In this context, the Hotel and Tourism sector was not exception.
In the province, the sector was stationary; The small lodges faced material and financial constraints, which affected capacity to accommodate guests, especially tourists.
The provincial director of Commerce, Hotel and Tourism in Lunda Sul, Manuel Segunda, said that the province had one hotel and that, as a result of the armed conflict, it was went out of operation.
He added that, due to the lack of hotel facilities, local officials had often to host visiting ministerial entities in their own homes.
The hotel network situation
At present, the picture is different. Lunda Sul’s hotel network during the 14 years of peace has experienced a remarkable growth, due to public and private investments that have led to the emergence of such units and tourist resorts.
The province currently has one hotel, one residential complexes, 12 lodges, four tourist villages and two hostels, with a total of 336 rooms and 478 beds, figures that show the changes taking place.
As for food spots, there are four restaurants, two bars, two pastries and a cafe.
Accommodation rates vary from Akz 10,000 to 19,000 a day, with meals ranging from Akz 2,500 to 3,500, according to the rank of the restaurant or bar.
With the commissioning of the above facilities, at least two 237 young people, among men and women, earned their first job.
In Lunda Sul, there are five places, namely Pelengue Luari, Kassengo, Tchihumbwe, Samussanda and Tamba.
Hotels under construction
Twelve hotels and two tourist villages are under construction in Saurimo, with conclusion and inauguration expected from 2017 to 2018.
With the completion and inauguration of the above hotels, the province will have 8,400 rooms, which will add to the existing 336, totalling 1,240.
Galito Hotel getting facelift, modernised
The only hotel that existed in Lunda Sul (inherited from the colonial period) shows now a new image, since it is getting a facelift since 2014, under a public-private partnership.
Situated in the province's capital city centre, Hotel Galito will gain 125 rooms, against 70 of the past.
With the completion of the works, the hotel will have leisure areas, stores, bank counters, apartments, offices, car park and green area.
Strategies to boost the sector
According to Manuel Segunda, the provincial Government has designed a programme called "Tourism Operational Plan", which contains several components in the field of organisation, promotion and development of hotel and tourism in the region.
One of the priorities for the Government, according to the official, who mentioned the said plan, is the construction of a hotel in the three municipalities in the inland side of Lunda Sul, namely Cacolo, Dala and Muconda.
Under the above mentioned project, investors who are interested in the hotel business will be referred to the three municipalities. The objective is to expand these services, take advantage of and monetise the tourist sites in the region.
To complement the Tourism Operational Plan, a training programme in this area is in the pipeline, designed to to provide the staff of the hotel and other interested parties with the necessary tools.
The province has a deficit in catering. These services are offered in the hotels. "We need catering services outside the hotels," said Manuel Segunda.
In order to reverse the situation, the provincial director of Commerce, Hotel and Tourism in Lunda Sul, Manuel Segunda, appealed to local entrepreneurs to invest in catering services.
The lack of tourist guides is a concern for the sector in Lunda Sul. When tourists need guides, they are accompanied by the staff of the institution.
Another concern for the institution is the lack of investment in tourist sites that the province has.
"The local business community has not yet awakened that the tourism sector is a business opportunity, it is not enough to have hotels, restaurants and lodges. It is important to invest in tourist sites," he said.
seeking to improve the situation, Lunda Sul Government has created mechanisms to facilitate entrepreneurs who intend to invest in this sector, by improving secondary and tertiary roads, to facilitate access to tourist sites, including other measures.
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