Three Indian tourists who have embarked on a 70 000 kilometer round trip around the world to help least developed country’s improve their tourism sector have advised government and the Tourism Board to do more in selling the country because it is more beautiful as compared to other country’s they have visited in Africa.
Speaking in an interview in Lilongwe soon after their arrival from Tanzania, leader of the group Tushar Agarwal who has spent the last ten years visiting over 35 countries, said Malawi is one of the best destinations they have ever visited in Africa.
“It is our first time to come to Malawi, but we have been enthralled with what we have seen. We left India on September 27 and we have been to Asia, Australia and in Africa we have visited countries like Kenya, Tanzania and then Malawi. Out of these three country’s Malawi stands out because of the friendliness of the people, the organised road network and the beauty of Lake Malawi,” said Agarwal.
According to Agarwal their voyage around the world is dubbed the great Indian world trip and is a journey not for the faint hearted because it is involving and sometimes dangerous.
“We have faced some challenges in other countries but what we saw in Malawi is very encouraging. This country is peaceful, much safer and road signs are not vandalised making it easy for visitors to know their destinations,” he said.
Agarwal’s collegues Sanay Madan and Prasad Despande said they will produce a documentary for Malawi which might be beamed on Discovery Channel if everything goes according to plan.
“We can help sell this beautiful country because the impressions that people who have never visited Malawi have are different to those one sees when you set your foot in this beautiful country. There is too much negativity outside there but what we have seen is the complete opposite and government must do more,’ said Madan.
Minister of Tourism could not be reached for comment but former Director of Tourism Isaac Katopola is on record to have said that government spent over K225 million (US$558 312.66) this year to advertise on the popular broadcaster CNN in its quest to make the country more visible to the outside world.
The adverts have been running twice every day on the popular broadcaster.
Said Katopola: “We deliberately chose CNN because we wanted to enhance the reputation of the country. What we have seen is that the ad has improved the perception of Malawi. We have been reliably told that 74 percent of the CNN viewers are in agreement that Malawi is now well known to the outside world.”
He said that the country has laid strong foundations and government is committed to invest a lot of money because the country can generate a lot of forex through tourism.
“What we are telling the tourists is that after visiting other countries in the world they should come and see what Malawi has to offer. We are an unspoilt paradise and that coupled with peace that has been prevailing in the country makes Malawi a must visit destination,” said Katopola.