Minister of Information, Tourism and Civic Education Jappie Mhango has commended tourism operators in Lilongwe for maintaing good standards.
He said this after touring Ulendo Safaris, Ufulu Gardens, Hotel and Suites and Central African Wilderness, and holding meetings with tourism operators.
Said Mhango: “The first impression is that these operators are doing a good job and are maintaining standards despite the economic situation the country is experiencing.”
He said government will continue providing a conducive environment to tourism operators to conduct their businesses well .
Mhango also said as one way of assisting the industry to grow, his ministry would review most of the policies that are outdated and protect the industry and host a tourism conference where all stakeholders would come together and discuss their problems.
He, however, said the tourism industry is also faced with lack of skilled labour and government would do all it can to address this challenge.
One of Ufulu Gardens, Hotels and Suites directors Ivy Gondwe said the country loses foreign exchange to foreign chefs they employ.
She said tourism is one of the sectors that brings foreign exchange in the country, but much of it is lost in paying foreign chefs.
Gondwe said it could have been better if government were sending professionals in the field of tourism outside the country to learn how hotels, lodges and other tourism facilities are run.
Jason Stones from Central African Wilderness Safari said his company has difficulties to find spare parts for their vehicles in the country.
He said they are also not making profits, as they are failng to bring wildlife into parks because of expensive visa requirements.