In a letter addressed to the Ministers of State for Economic Coordination, Economy and Planning and Culture, Tourism and Environment, the twelve tour operators and the Association of Tourism Guides and Artistic Servants of Angola (AGTSA) state that the sector is one of the most affected by the pandemic and fear that the paralysis of activities will drag thousands of Angolans into unemployment.
"We request the inclusion of our sector in the credit packages under covid-19. It is with this credit that we will be able to timidly mitigate the disasters of the pandemic," stress the twelve entrepreneurs (Kurika Kissama Lodge, Mangais, Kwanza Lodge, Boutique Lodge Sangano, Complexo O Golfinho, AGOSQUEP, Baía de Cabo Ledo, Complexo Doce Mar, Queiroz Point, Resort Tropical Carpe Diem, Resort Dona Téo and Restaurante 120 na Brasa) and AGTSA in the letter delivered on 12 May, to which Lusa had access.
The tourist sector of Cabo Ledo, a popular bathing area about 120 kilometres from the capital, gives work to about 500 people, providers of various services and involves "a wide chain of services with our suppliers", says the letter, underlining that "hotels and restaurants are among the giants of employability" in the country.
In addition, the municipality "has been deprived of water, electricity and sanitation since Independence" and the local population's access to these infrastructures "depends very much on the supply of the hotel branch, which is now reduced to zero activity".
Entrepreneurs are therefore asking for access to credit lines and programmes to stimulate the economy to ensure the subsistence of workers and maintain "the social and economic relations that it is important to perpetuate with the communities" that depend on them.
"We warn of the huge mistake of omitting, excluding or relegating the hotel and restaurant sector to the periphery of priorities", they highlight in the letter, adding that this "lapse" can still be reviewed and considering "fundamental" to propose solutions to mitigate the effect of the pandemic in the hotel industry that generates direct and indirect jobs and induces other activities such as ecotourism and agribusiness.
According to one of the businessmen, the Association of Cooks and Pie-Makers of Angola also joined the initiative.
In September last year the government approved the master plan for the Cabo Ledo Tourist Development Centre, which is expected to develop over 15 years, with investments estimated at three billion dollars over an area of three thousand hectares.