Malawi Tourism Council to Lobby For Reopening of Lakeside Meetings.
The Malawi Tourism Council (MTC) said it is discussing with the government through the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) to reconsider lifting the ban that was imposed by government suspending all lakeside meetings.
Recently, the OPC, through the Chief Secretary Coleen Zamba announced the suspension of all lakeside public
events as one of the austerity measures to address the economic challenges the country is currently facing.
Zamba said government was wasting huge sums of public resources on the lakeside meetings; hence the suspension of lakeshore resort meetings.
Speaking in an interview during this year’s commemoration of World Tourism Day on September 27, 2022, in Blantyre, Malawi Tourism Council Executive Director Innocent Kaliati said the ban has negatively affected the tourism industry in Malawi since most customers who patronize the industry come from government departments.
“At the beginning, government was not supposed to take anything from us because we were already feeling the pain emanating from COVID-19. So, we are currently discussing with government as our major customer through OPC to review the ban, and we hope that we will all reach an amicable solution,” he said.
Kaliati, however, could not be drawn to disclose how much in total the tourism sector has so far lost during the
Meanwhile, Kaliati said, the council is encouraging its members and other stakeholders to start cultivating interest
in packaging tourism products in a bid to revamp the sector.
He added that many tourism entities now have a sigh of relief from COVID 19’s devastating effects, hence the need
to explore strategies to restore hope of survival economically.
On the other hand, Kaliati has also implored Malawi’s citizenry to incorporate Malawi’s culture when selling Lake Malawi outside the country.
“We have owned Lake Malawi for so long. Now, it is time to begin selling our lake differently to other countries, and
we believe culture could be the best product to be incorporated,” explained Kaliati.
Kaliati further described the National Eco-Tourism Policy, which was recently launched by government through the
Ministry of Tourism, as the best tool that will help in providing guidance on how to do tourism in Malawi.
Speaking on the same World Tourism Day event, the regional tourism officer for the south, Kennedy Jana, said
government through the Ministry of Tourism has arranged various innovative initiatives aimed at promoting and
reviving tourism industry in the country.
“We are aware that tourism has suffered a lot for the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the good news is that government is doing a lot to get things moving. Among others, we are raising awareness on tourism products.
We are also encouraging Malawians to buy locally produced products so as to empower indigenous businesses,”
Malawi joined the rest of the world in commemorating World Tourism Day, with a street carnival in Blantyre under
the theme: Rethinking tourism.