Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife has asked for a $700 000 (about K560 million) bail-out from the African Development Bank (AfDB) to support small and medium scale tourism businesses that have been affected by Covid-19
The ministry’s Acting Principal Secretary George Masinga said this in Lilongwe yesterday when he presided over a workshop for players in the tourism sector organised by Malawi Tourism Council (MTC) to brainstorm how the industry can operate effectively amid Covid-19 disruptions.
He said: “We have asked AfDB to help us with funds that will help micro, small and medium enterprises in the tourism industry. It is yet to be discussed if it is going to be a grant or a revolving fund.
“We are still discussing with the bank, but the picture looks positive and the tourism sector should expect something very
Meanwhile, the MTC has asked the government to open up the tourism industry as the country is registering a fall in new Covid-19 cases.
The council’s chairperson Jones Malili said: “After Covid-19 hit the country, the tourism industry was paralysed as jobs were lost and many businesses went down. If we shut down the industry forever, we will cripple our economy.”
He said the council was ready to enforce all the Covid-19 preventive measures in the sector once government opens up.
In response, Masinga said government will soon
open up the tourism sector, having been cleared by the World Tourism Council.
“The council has granted Malawi a safe stamp. Very soon we shall be assessing hotels, lodges and other places if they are meeting Covid-19 guidelines. Once these establishments get those stamps, all the travellers will have confidence that their places are safe,” he said.
Tourism has been among the worst-hit sectors by the Covid-19 pandemic with most businesses closing or scaling down due to foreign and domestic travel restrictions.
MTC estimates that the pandemic has cost the local industry 5 000 jobs and K130 billion