MAPUTO (Reuters) - Mozambique expects to host around 100,000 foreign tourists during the 2010 soccer World Cup in neighbouring South Africa, raking in some $500 million in revenue, Tourism Minister Fernando Sumbana said on Thursday.
Sumbana said the sector was showing a satisfactory recovery after slumping during a 17-year civil war which ravaged the southern African country's infrastructure before ending in 1992.
Foreigners had invested $900 million in 2007 towards upgrading Mozambique's hotels and national parks, up from $600 million injected in 2006.
The country is also refurbishing its existing airports and constructing new ones as part of the tourism drive.
"The sector is now witnessing high levels of investment based on Mozambique taking advantage of the soccer World Cup taking place in South Africa", Sumbana told Reuters.
"Our investments are targeted at getting maximum revenues during the World Cup. We are looking at something at around $500 million in revenues in 2010 during and after the World Cup event," he added.
He said the tourism sector had seen inflows of $280 million from foreign tourism visits in 2007, compared to $163 million the previous year.
Mozambique and the World Bank's lending arm, the International Finance Corporation, recently signed a U$3.1 billion deal for tourism projects along the southern African state's 2,500 km (1,553 miles) coastline.