Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism has said lack of a tourism policy is stifling growth of the sector as some potential investors find it difficult to bring their investments into the country due to challenges in accessing land.
The first effort to develop a tourism policy in 2004 was halted after it was not officially approved by Cabinet, a thing director of tourism in the ministry, Isaac Katopola, described as an anomaly.
In an interview in Lilongwe on Friday, Katopola said the ministry has embarked on a process of formulating a new policy and will today be meeting stakeholders in Mzuzu.
He said: “Before any policy is taken to Cabinet, there is need to conduct consultative meetings and we will start in Mzuzu before going to Blantyre on August 2.
“Operating without a tourism policy has led to some investors failing to invest because they could not get the much-needed land, especially along Lake Malawi. This instrument will help us to zone tourism areas so that investors can get land with ease.”
Katopola also said the policy will help government set up a tourism authority which could help quite a lot in destination marketing which is currently very expensive for the department.
Board chairperson for the Malawi Tourism Council, Florentine Kabefu, could not be reached for comment, but she is on record as having told Business News that some of the challenges the tourism sector is facing will be minimised with a policy in place.