Malawi bad for travel – Word Economic Forum report

Malawi, ironically often described as the Warm Heart of Africa, is bad for both travel and tourism in the world, with the air transport sector infrastructure as one of the worst in the world, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF), an international think tank.

Malawi airports, KIA and Chileka are operating below standards

Malawi airports, KIA and Chileka are operating below standards

Lake Malawi destination for tourism

Lake Malawi destination for tourism

The 2015 WEF Travel and Tourism report released recently shows that, out of 141 economies that were surveyed for competitiveness, Malawi ranked 126, doing poorly on health and hygiene, air transport infrastructure, and tourist service infrastructure.

The Warm Heart of Africa endowed with a beautiful lake and rare flora and fauna, did relatively well on safety and security, price competitiveness, environmental sustainability and natural resources. Malawi scored an aggregate of 2.9 out of a possible seven.

Although analysts and stakeholders often look at tourism as one of the sectors that can save Malawi’s struggling economy and dependency on tobacco which is currently facing a bleak future in the wake of anti smoking campaigns, the country only manages to rake in meager amounts from the apparently lucrative sector.

According to the WEF report, Malawi earned about $34 million from 770 000 international tourists in 2013 supporting about 136 000 jobs.

However, neighbouring Zambia raked in $155 million from 915 000 international tourists, while Mozambique received $241 million from 1.9 billion international tourists, in 2013.

Zimbabwe, on the other hand, earned $851 million from 1.8 billion international tourists in the same year, according to the report.

Regardless of the importance of the sector and its underutilisation in Malawi, Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe presenting next year’s proposed budget  which is pegged at about K902 billion, hardly mentioned the sector.

However, the Economic Recovery Plan (ERP) a Malawi government economic blueprint, launched in 2012, notes that topromote the industry, the government will undertake in product development, tourism marketing and promotion, and institutional reform and capacity development.

Tourism analysts, however note that  the country has a number of challenges that relate to tourism including limited financial resources which makes it impossible to market Malawi aggressively calling on the improvement on the facilitation of visitors such as visa costs and availability and procedures.

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29 thoughts on “Malawi bad for travel – Word Economic Forum report”

  1. Chatsalira says:

    This is what Mr Chikadya, the outgoing Chairman of Sunbird Hotels Limited was lamenting about.

  2. VIYAZI TEMBO says:

    SHEBEX! UKUSEKA?

  3. Shebex says:

    Kikikiiiiii koma @ Manjolow kukwiya kumeneku nkhani yake yomweyiiii? Eeee mtampeza ameneyu nde mungamchekecheketuuu. 1.9billion international tourists, Zimbabwe alone! Oh my foot!’ Nyasa times editors wake up plz!

  4. JCInLA says:

    Too many taxes are killing businesses in Malawi.
    You have very stupid taxes, tourism, mra,kuphwisa, kunyera( just to name a few). Where are the businesses going to get all this money from?
    Our tax laws must change and corruption must indeed STOP!

  5. Kadakwiza says:

    So what you ngurus, khokholas are worried about is Chileka and KIA, what about Mzuzu airport? These ngurus and khokholas are boring serious.

  6. matako says:

    Malawi has always missed great opportunity in attracting tourists which is a great forex earner. Our president is busy trying to find a way to loot our resources. Tourism is one of the fastest industries in developing countries. In Malawi we have beautiful weather, and natural resources , great lake and game reserves that can bring in twice what Mozambique got. What we lack in this country are leaders with vision. leaders that love this country instead of filling their pockets.

  7. Funso says:

    Malawi’s tourist industry is on a par with the rest of its economy. Anyone visiting needs to know and accept that.

  8. manjolow says:

    ohh – but the statistics stink in this report. Who is WEF anyway – mukungopeka ma report eti? 1.9 billion visitors to Zimbabwe – shaaaaa. Not even the New York or London can handle that – does the writer know the population of the world? Worse yet – what % of that population can travel at all?
    Shupiti ndi nkhani zauchindere – machende ako

    Ine DPP Muhlakho wa Baba

  9. VIYAZI TEMBO says:

    CALL IT CHILEKA AIR STRIP NOT INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, MY FOOT…….

  10. Hoitty says:

    Kodi ku Malawi anatipatsa design ya ma bus depot ndani? Zoona bus depot yomangidwa 2014 mdakamangabe style yake ngati zigafa za fodya? Kuona lu town komwe mmakupopa ku BT ndi LL depot zao ngati ..mxi ndilibe chofanizila.. Nde akuti akumanga minibus terminal kumibawa… zoona imene ija terminal yamtauni?? A Malawi kutsalira chonsecho anthu a ku city amayenda mayiko a kunja kumaona ma bus terminal abwino koma osaphunzirapo kanthu. ku mibawa komweko misika ya kholowa kulibe bin loko imodzi. LL bus terminal mmmh ati capital city. Chonchobe. Kodi themberero lake anachita kulikwirira pansi pa nyanja? Malaqi woyeeee.

  11. zamanyazi says:

    APA ndiye palibe za utsogoleli tikamavota timangobetsa mavoti athu, mmalo mokonza airport akumanga university Ku thyolo Ku mumidzi ngati uko. Alendo pakhomo akamabwela amayamba kufikira pa khonde asanalowe pa sit room or kuchipinda.

  12. Jenifa says:

    I think the title of the story is misleading

  13. Zondiwe says:

    1.9 billion tourists? Please look at your figures and present a proper account. If you choose to present figures, ensure that they are correct.

  14. Charombanthu says:

    I recall in the late 1980s and/or early 1990, there were three major direct flights from Europe’s capitals of London, Amsterdam and Paris landing at KIA, namely British Airways, KLM and Air France and the fares were not prohibitive as they are now. Now, one has to connect from Chileka or KIA to Jo’burg before flying out of Africa to Europe or America. And talking of Chileka, how come our politicians are able to complete construction of their mansions in the up-market suburbs of Area 43 or Nyambadwe within 3-6 months and yet it has taken over 2 years just to refurbish the old Chileka air stip. Are serious about developing this country?

  15. mbalangwe says:

    try to disable nasty pop ups. we have to stay Malawian.

  16. P. M says:

    Chileka airport is a disgrace, plz plz a presdent demorish this shit as soon as posbo

  17. haward says:

    Dziko lathu a president nduna zawo komanso anzawo onse ntchito ndi katangale ndikukamanga manyumba Awo osati zaboma ayi.anthu osakhulupirika ndichifukwa dziko likusauka iwo kumalemera kuba tax payers money

  18. Wids says:

    Kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk

  19. Samarakunjuta says:

    If the president stores bags of American dollars at his house.
    How on earth can the government and country as a whole survive?
    This is totally unacceptable!!!
    How does these brutaly voted presidents feel when they travel to other countries????
    I feel so disgusted when I see Malawi is going down with a blink of an eye!
    We say we have professors, ministers and so fourth but still Malawi is going to the dogs.
    Look at the hotel that we call hotels as if it was built by hipocrites, roads shopings centres malls the town planning itiself is a mare joke to in the eyes of Malawians.
    How does malawian president feel when neibouring countries are lanking far much better than malawi?for instants Mozambique they had war that cripled the country to the rags but steel Malawi is left where the white capitalist left.
    My plea to these brutally chosen presidents,stop keeping money in your houses!!!!
    This government must make sure the is proper control of money,how come foreign businessman are being found with hard cash in dollars?
    Does that show the country have the government??
    AMALAWI TIYENI TISINTHE MUCHITIDWE WAUMBULIWU NDIPO MIGODI YIMENE YIKUPEZEKAYO NDIYIMENE YITASINTHE AMAONEKEDWE ADZIKO.CHENJERANI CHIFUKWA NGATI MIGODI SIIKUPINDULIRA DZIKO NDIBWINO KUYITSEKA!!!!!

  20. ujeni says:

    Chileka Airport or Mbayani market. I dont see an International Airport in the picture. Stop playing jokes Malawians, we like to embarass ourselves. Demolish the market called airport now now.

  21. ujeni says:

    You mean 1.9million or 1.9billion. So the whole China came to Zimbabwe? in a Year?

    1. kk says:

      That was Mozambique not Zimbabwe not that 1.9 billion makes sense, but you need to sharpen up on your reading

  22. Ray says:

    As a person who has never been to Africa let alone Malawi ,I am from Scotland, I would love to go but there is no direct flights from anywhere in the UK and they are super expensive.

  23. sunderstar says:

    This is true Chileka now is just a ruble of dust without any sign of getting any improvement.
    Why did the government start rehabilitating the Airport when they knew they had no money at hand to finish the rehabs. I have also noted that there is no good lighting at the Chileka Airport, Last week Tuesday I flew from Lilongwe to Blantyre on an Air Malawi fight we arrived @ Chileka at 19.00 the place was in darkness except the landing lights and outside the airport there was total darkness that arrivals can easily be attacked by robbers, the street lights from Chileka to Blantyre are not functioning. The whole Airport is in a comfused state as if we have no President and ministers who always travel using the Airport.

  24. maganizo anga says:

    my poor country mxm

  25. VIYAZI TEMBO says:

    MALAWI LEADERS ARE CURSED SINCE DEMOCRATIC YEAR OF 1994 BECAUSE OF SELFISHNESS, NO WONDER THIS NATION IS MATCHING BACKWARDS………………..

  26. Tengupenya says:

    The basics in infrastructures related to tourism are all wrong. Expensive hotels yet the service standards are very poor, never mind the smiling service personnel. Transit logistics are awfully priced for their worth. No airports near the tourist destinations. Look, it is not just about looking at the lake, the beautiful scenery, and the smiling workers. It is about cuisines, memorable water sporting activities, casino, amorous activities, walking trails, environmental affairs, fun and edutainment with globally competitively priced packages. Unique features to the tourist attraction menus must be truly unique and memorable. Improve transport infrastructure, service, communications.

  27. Marley says:

    Chileka airport building is a disgrace

  28. Yusuf Hofmally says:

    Kodi imeneyi Airport kapena Madisi Mission Hospital. Guys lets be serious. Demolish this Ward and construct an international standard Airport. This cant even match airport ya pa Tete apa.

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