Malawi has potential to be tourism hub in Africa – expert

Owner of Kumbali Village Lodge in Malawi’s capital Lilongwe Scott Gray says the country has a potential to grow into a tourist attraction nation if it first learn to utilize its own resources.

Gray was speaking during the launch this year’s National Tourism Week which aims to sensitize the general public on the role the sector plays in the country’s social-economic development.

The week will be commemorated under the theme ‘Tourism and Sustainable Energy: Powering Sustainable Development’.

“Malawi is a very peaceful country compared to some countries in Africa. Of course we can’t compare our industry to Kenya where they have the Big Five and South Africa who have the ocean.

Lake of Stars music festival: One event which was flying the flag for Malawian tourism.- Photo credit A. Bradley

“But Malawi is a peaceful country and this can always attract tourists. We have to make things happen with the little we have so we can boost our tourism industry,” said Gray who has stayed in Malawi for 34 years.

He said government authorities should be organizing regular meetings with players in the tourism private sector to strategize on how best they can take the sector to greater heights.

Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Culture, Daniel Liwimbi said tourism industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in the world at it plays a major role on issues of sustainable development.

He then said there was need to adopt new technologies that will promote the use of renewable energy technologies that will remain competitive but at the same time, protect the environment.

“By adopting these technologies, it will also assist to reduce the pressure on our natural resources and make Malawi a leading and responsible sustainable tourism destination.

“A modern tourist is conscious with sustainability issues therefore, if the country is to remain competitive, we need to embrace these technologies,” said Liwimbi.

He then appealed to the players in tourism private sector and all Malawians to commemorate the week by pondering on the symbiotic relationship between tourism and sustainable energy and take advantage of the numerous business opportunities that the sector offers.

“In addition, let us all strive to play our part to conserve our natural resources for posterity by sharing local knowledge with others including our children,” he said.

The National Tourism Week is an occasion related to the World Tourism Day that falls on 27th September every year as declared by the World Tourism Organization of the United Nations.

However, Malawi decided to always have a full week of celebrating in an apparent move to boost the industry.

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