Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Joseph Mwanamvekha said travel and tourism is one of the fastest growing industries which can help to boost the country’s economy.
Mwanamvekha noted this Monday during the news conference on the first ever National Tourism Conference at its headquarters in Lilongwe.
He said government recognizes tourism as a priority sector that can be used as a vehicle for economic growth and poverty alleviation as attested by the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy II and Malawi National Export Strategy 2015-2018.
“Tourism is a viable source of employment to our youth and also a tool of generating income; therefore reducing poverty.” Mwanamvekha said.
He further said tourism can be a complex and cross-sectoral industry which need a proper collaboration and coordination amongst stakeholders in order to make progress.
“The planned tourism conference which is the first of its kind, will seek to come up with clear and acceptable areas for cooperation and collaboration among stakeholders; therefore gain consensus on key issues to ensure that plans and strategies are implemented,” he pointed out.
He said the conference will also help in raising the country’s tourism profile through awareness on the value of tourism and its importance to the socio-economic development.
He added that country’s economy continues to be predominantly agro-based but government has identified tourism as one of the catalysts that can provide revenue to complement the growing and competing demands for the economy.
“The country has rich natural and cultural resources that offer unique and diverse opportunities for tourism. This increases its contribution towards the economic and social development, however these natural resources have to be conserved for their sustainable use.” Mwanamvekha said.
According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) in 2015 the travel and tourism sector in the country contributed about MWK221 billion (7.2% of GDP) and is forecast to rise by 4.2% in the next 5years.
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