Board chair of Sunbird Limited, Phillip Madinga has said tourism sector is next big thing in the country what it required is to enhance it further.
Madinga made the observation on the sidelines of the first ever Malawi Tourism conference held in Lilongwe on April 6, 2017 at Sunbird Capital Hotel.
He said tourism sector if promote to the required expected standards it could positively contribute to the country’s economic well being and can be a source of reliable revenue generation.
“We are facing challenges in marketing the sector. We need to move forward in order to overcome of the obstacles that are there now,” he suggested.
The Board pointed that there is need for the involvement of all stakeholders in the sector to move forward and map up away forward which could have a meaningful result.
Madinga said the sector need to concentrate on infrastructure development and additionally invest more in wildlife and cultural sectors.
He said the country’s infrastructure such roads, hotels, airports, national parks, electricity need to be upgraded further into required international standards.
The Board Chair observed that Malawi stand to benefit more as compared to its neighbours once some of issues are addressed and market its products worldwide.
“We have a lot of potential in the tourism sector but we are failing to utilize such potential to our own benefit and thereby giving room to other countries within the region to gain more,” he lamented.
Madinga said the country has a beautiful Lake, national parks , mountains, diverse traditions and cultures which other countries from within don’t have.
Chairperson of Malawi Tourism Council, Florentine Kabefu said the country’s’ tourism sector need to encourage domestic tourism.
She noted that most people are failing to access domestic tourism due to other limited factors which need to be looked into in all angles.
“High taxes and duties which are being imposed on things that are supposed to people the industry are a hindrance to its growth. We need to collective work out on these issues if our domestic tourism is to improve for the better,” Kabefu suggested.
She said the issue of Visa is another challenge the country is currently face.
“Our visas are considered to be higher as compared to our neighbour countries within the region. So this is acting as a deterrent to attract more tourists into the country. We urged the authorities to look into the issue with sober minds,” Board Chair lamented.
The National Tourism Conference brought a cross section of stakeholders and players in the tourism industry.
At the end of the day it was observed that it was well attended and patronized which give an encouragement that such meeting to could turn things around in distant future.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :