Mwanamvekha says tourism key to Malawi economic growth

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.

Joseph Mwanamvekha: Tourism can save Malawi 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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1 thought on “Mwanamvekha says tourism key to Malawi economic growth”

  1. Ngalamayi says:

    Tourism could benefit Malawi hugely, but first, the government needs to overcome several problems:
    1. I spend part of the year in the UK. No good news about Malawi has reached here: all people here know about The Warm Heart of Africa is: ‘they kill albinos, don’t they?’ Or ‘Is that where families pay an HIV/AIDs man to sleep with their widows and adolescent girls?’ Or ‘That’s where there is so much corruption, most donors have pulled out their support?’ Sadly, to each question I must answer ‘Yes’.
    2. Most Europeans have no idea where Malawi is, confusing it with Mali and Malaysia. The Ministry of Tourism must put Malawi on the map. Europe only knows Kenya, Botswana and SA as tourist destinations.
    3. The Ministry must encourage tourism: putting a $75 visa cost on top of more expensive airline tickets is discouraging many potential tourists. They can see and do more in cheaper countries.
    4. Look at how tourist destinations are taxed. Just ask some lodge & hotel owners how much they have to pay and what little the government gives them in support. Those taxes have to be passed on to the tourist and that’s another thing making Malawi very unattractive to visitors.

    The Ministry needs more than words to attract tourists! Time for action.

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