Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism is expected to host the Takulandirani Malawi Tourism Exposition International from August 30 to September 1 2017 at the Bingu International Convention Centre (Bicc) in Lilongwe.
The expo seeks to implement some of the key recommendations from the first national tourism conference and resonate with government’s decision to include tourism as a key economic driver for social economic development.
The expo will also market Malawi’s tourism products to international and regional buyers through pre-expo tours to some of the key attractions across the country. The expo will be opened to the general public on the third day.
In an interview with Business News last week, director of tourism Isaac Katopola said the objective of the expo is to have a centrally-organised show where industry players can showcase their products.
“We are not only targeting domestic tourism, but we are also targeting regional and international tourism where buyers who buy tourism packages into Malawi will meet with the players face-to-face to see what they offer, because if they do not see what Malawi has to offer, they won’t be able to package Malawi as a tourism destination.
Katopola added that the vision is to be holding expos on a yearly basis as it is a general practice of countries with robust tourism industry, and Malawi is one of the two countries in the Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc), which do not hold expos.
One of the players in the industry, John Kabwilo, who owns Misuku Expeditions, a company in travel tours and safaris, said the expo will create a conducive environment for small companies to network and sell themselves as it is a challenge to attend expos outside the country due to high costs of participation fees.
Meanwhile, the ministry is calling for exhibitors at the fair.
South Africa remains a leading source of tourists for both leisure and business tourists into Malawi, with more than 100 000 visitors annually. n