The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism says it will continue to provide guidance and direction to local tourism operators and promoters to boost the sector.
Officials from the ministry on Friday met with tourism operators and promoters from the Southern Region in Blantyre to orient them on the importance of adhering to standards in their service provision.
In an interview, the ministry’s Principal Secretary Ken Ndala said the gathering was the start of a series of meetings that will take place nationwide to enlighten tourism players on the ministry’s expectations.
“We need to provide guidance on what they are supposed to do. At the same time, we also want to give them a platform to share their views and how we can improve our tourism sector,” he said.
Ndala said the ministry is effecting several changes in the sector to be in sync with the changes reflected in the reviewed Tourism Policy.
“As a ministry, we have a levy that we collect from the tourism operators and that levy is used to develop the sector,” he said.
Ndala said the ministry is impressed with how the operators are faring though there are some areas that need to be improved, especially when it comes to providing quality services in terms of accommodation.
Kameza Lodge director Harry Mtuwa said the meeting was important to players in the tourism sector as it informed them on what the ministry is doing in terms of facilitating development of the sector and their role.
“The support from government is there, but we wish if they could do more such as providing loans to us. To get a loan at the commercial bank, then you are just killing yourself.
“We want to provide what the customer wants because if you do not do that then it is bad service,” he said.
This year, tourism sector is expected to contribute 7.7 percent to gross domestic product (GDP), a rise from last year’s 3.5 percent, according to the 2018 Malawi Government Annual Economic Report. n