Malawi’s tourism industry is losing out from the lack of vibrancy on the domestic tourism front, Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism Henry Mussa has said.
The minister made the observation during a Tourism Street Carnival in Blantyre on Saturday along Hannover Street as part of the activities to mark the National Tourism Month to raise awareness for the World Tourism Day which falls on September 27.
Mussa has since appealed to tourism players in the country to have incentives in their service packages that motivate local tourists to patronise local tourist attraction sites to maximise on their gains.
He said: “When you look at South Africa and Zambia for example, they have packages which allow families to book into top hotels at almost half the price for them to appreciate and sample that environment.
“We have fresh waters, mountains, wildlife and valleys which have very beautiful sceneries and sites. Let us make the rates affordable to encourage domestic tourists to visit these areas.”
Mussa said government has placed tourism among the priority sectors of development.
On his part, Malawi Gaming Board (MGB) director of operations Dave Saeluzika said tourism can significantly contribute towards the country’s socio-economic development.
He said: “The event is becoming increasingly popular as an outing for families and individuals to see and appreciate the attractions that the tourism sector showcase through exhibitions, traditional dances and displays by different artists.”
MGB were the main sponsors of the Blantyre Tourism Street Carnival.
This year’s commemorations are being held under the theme Tourism and the Digital Transformation, a theme Mussa said is fitting reflection on what needs to happen in this era to utilise the industry’s potential.
This was the third street carnival after the first in 2015 and another in 2016.