Minister of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife Michael Usi has challenged micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the tourism sector to improve service delivery.
The minister’s call comes on the back of MSMEs lack of knowledge and capacity to handle international clientele’ needs despite the enterprises accounting for the majority of the sector’s service providers.
In a statement, Usi said that while MSMEs dominate the tourism sector in terms of numbers, the few foreign-owned and large operators account for over 70 percent of international tourism receipts.
He said: “Empowering our MSMEs will not only ensure we create a stable and resilient tourism sector, but also provide a springboard for developing our domestic tourism.
“It is, therefore, the wish of government to capacitate indigenous tourism businesses to tap into this mainstream segment and grow our tourism”.
Currently, the tourism sector is hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic and its recovery, according to the ministry, is partly dependent on the MSMEs performance.
In a written response on Monday, Malawi Tourism Council board chairperson Johns Malili admitted that MSMEs suffer from insufficient knowledge.
He called for strong collaboration among the tourism sub-sector operators to realise that they are all part of the value chain for the satisfaction of the customers.
He challenged operators to manage their entities professionally by having structured plans that will enable them make appropriate financial budgets for easy managment of revenues and expenses.
Associate economics professor Betchani Tchereni, who teaches at the Polytechnic—a constituent college of the University of Malawi, said MSMEs require a capital push to uplift their service delivery, stressing that quality standards come at a cost.