Malawi minister of sports, youth and culture, Grace ‘Obama’ Chiumia has said the country is targeting to court over one million high spending tourists annually and assured tourists wishing to visit the country of tight security.
Speaking after launching the tourism month themed “One million tourists, one million opportunities,” Chiumia said government has engaged an extra gear to make sure that Malawi tourist’s attraction areas in particular have enough security and live to its billing as ‘the warm heart of Africa’
The theme is modelled on the country’s vision to reach one million high spending tourists per year by 2017.
“It is the government’s wish to see into it that every tourist who visits the country should go back home with good stories so as to attract more tourists.
“We need to be open minded not only to the tourists, but also to all those who come here for other reasons like entrepreneurship and education,” she said.
Chiumia said government is determined to invest into the tourism industry.
“Currently, we are trying to connect some tourist’s attraction areas with good road infrastructures. As you may recall, government has constructed the Nkhatabay Centre to Chikale Beach with a good road to
make sure that those who will visit the beach should not have difficulties and we are not ending there. We will also open up to other areas,” said Chiumia.
Director of Tourism in the Ministry of Information and tourism Patricia Liabuba said the 2017 target is achievable.
“It looks very ambitious but attainable because currently, our hotels are running at 65-70 percent occupancy rate in our major tourists’ attractions area while in other areas we are as low as 50 percent,”
She said bringing about a million high spending visitors into Malawi, will help to create about 300,000 additional jobs and increase annual contribution to the economy to K400 billion.
She said Malawi has enough capacity to absorb more investment in the tourism industry.
Efforts to attract more tourists in the country are being hampered by lack of direct flights, infrastructure and policy issues.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :