Sunbird Tourism plc has unveiled plans to open a new hotel, Sunbird Waterfront, in Salima to meet rising demand for accommodation and tourism facilities.
The hotel, with a capacity of 100 rooms, will have part of the facility open in September this year with 42 rooms.
The Malawi Stock Exchange-listed firm’s chief executive officer Yusuf Olela said this on Thursday in Blantyre on the sidelines of a decision makers cocktail to mark the launch of the K2.3 billion international conference centre at Sunbird Mount Soche in Blantyre.
He said the new Salima hotel project, which is situated next to Sunbird Livingstonia Beach, is part of the firm’s expansion plan to increase capacity in places where there is a lot of demand.
On the launch of the conference centre, Olela said the facility will have a positive impact on their revenue because catering and conference business contributes almost 50 percent of their income.
Said Olela: “This is the largest conference centre in the Southern Region of Malawi. We decided to invest in the conference centre because this is the fastest-growing segment in the industry and we also wanted to improve guest experience.
“We could be lobbying for international conferences to come into our country and it means a lot of multiplier effects and when they [visitors] come into the country, they will be able to explore other avenues Malawi has to offer.”
One of the invited patrons, John Kapito, who is also executive director of Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama), commended Sunbird Tourism plc for improved standards which he said meet consumers’ teastes.
Sunbird Tourism plc is the country’s biggest hotel chain with nine properties, including four city hotels in all three regions of the country, namely Sunbird Capital, Sunbird Lilongwe, Sunbird Mount Soche and Sunbird Mzuzu.
The hotel chain also has two beach resorts along Lake Malawi Sunbird Nkopola in Mangochi and Sunbird Livingstonia in Salima, a mountain resort at Sunbird Ku Chawe in Zomba, a game lodge in Majete Wildife Reserve called Sunbird Thawale and its latest addition in Mulanje called Sunbird Kara O’Mula.