There are mixed reactions to a proposal in the Domestic Tourism Strategy to have Malawians pay lower rates in tourism establishments to boost tourism.
The introduction of the proposal by the tourism authorities is in response to ever-growing concerns that leisure and adventure tourism facilities are way too exorbitant for local Malawians considering the low income status of most of them, hence the business is highly patronised by foreign tourists.
Director of tourism in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism Isaac Katopola said government saw the existing gap and decided to introduce differential pricing in the strategy to boost the income generated domestically from the sector that is yet to make steady and significant economic gains for the country.
He said: “We have just finalised the development of the Domestic Tourism Strategy to be launched early next year. It has outlined a number of strategies one of which is differential pricing mechanism to assist in enticing Malawians that are able to patronise tourism facilities in the country.”
Reacting to the development, Malawi Tourism Council (MTC) executive director Elsie Tembo said successful implementation of the strategy remains at the mercy of operators in the current liberalised economy.
But Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) executive director John Kapito differed with the council saying the liberalised economy should be managed to protect the consumers and that the proposed differential pricing for tourism facilities is prevalent in most countries where tourism is thriving.