Government officials say the tourism sector has injected K100 billion in 2017 alone, creating 235, 000 jobs for local Malawians.
Principal secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism Ken Ndala was all joy and excitement during the launch of Malawi Tourism month, saying this means the tourism industry has potential to improve the economy and reduce high-levels of unemployment.
Ndala said the at least 835, 000 tourists visited Malawi in 2017, saying the tourism has the potential to replace tobacco as the top forex earner.
“The K100 billion we realized from tourism is 10 per cent of the national budget, which is impressive,” he said.
However, Tourism director Isaac Katopola said tourists still complain of high visa fees in Malawi compared to other countries in the Sadc region.
Currently, tourists pay US$75 as visa fee to enter Malawi as compared to other Sadc countries where they pay US$50.
“We are in talks with the ministry of Home Affairs on the possibility of reducing the visa fees. I am happy to say that the results are positive,” said Katopola.
He said the new visa fee of US$50 will be implemented soon, saying this will attract more tourists to come to Malawi.
Malawi is among a few wonderful holiday destinations but lack of proper infrastructure hampers the growth of the sector.