Prior to independence, tourism, mostly from South Africa and the former Rhodesia, was a very important activity. However, concern for security in the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s due to the political situation left the tourist industry at a mere fraction of its previous levels. With civil stability and with economic prospects improving in recent years, hope is high that a renewed tourism industry will result. All foreign nationals need visas, as well as yellow fever and cholera immunizations.
The coastal town of Pemba offers beaches and coral reefs that can be easily reached by most swimmers. The northern half of Mozambique Island, which has a number of old churches and mosques, has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
According to 2001 US government estimates, the daily cost of staying in Maputo is about $186. Expenses in other areas can be only half that amount.