Sunbird Tourism plc says the second phase of the Waterfront Hotel in Salima will see the listed hotel chain constructing more luxury rooms to reach 100 to meet the increasing demand for accommodation.
The firm’s board chairperson George Partridge said this in an interview on Thursday on the sidelines of the opening of the K6 billion 46-room Sunbird Waterfront in Salima.
He said: “We looked around at the global tourism market and we saw that something was missing in our infrastructure in terms of quality.
“We conceived this particular infrastructure so that we are at par or surpass competition. After completion of this, we will erect a similar structure here so that we can have 100 rooms.”
Partridge said tourism is a global industry; hence, they are not only competing against their local competitors but globally.
The Waterfront Hotel project, which started in 2019, has been completed on schedule despite the challenges brought by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The new beach resort is wholly powered by solar and has its own waste management facility, making it environmentally friendly.
The Sunbird Waterfront offers a garden, room service and also provides guests with a terrace. All rooms have a balcony that faces Lake Malawi.
Speaking when he officially opened the facility, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife Michael Usi commended the Malawi Stock Exchange-listed hotel chain for thinking beyond the Malawi market.
He said: “Tourism is a global market and there are so many international players. We need hotels such as these to have an edge over competition.
“This is a great architectural work and in line with Malawi 2063 to transform Malawi in terms of infrastructure standards.”
Usi said this will contribute hugely to tourism attraction in the country, adding that this is the direction the country should take.
He said government provides tax waivers for building materials towards construction of infrastructures such as Waterfront Hotel.
“We will continue as government to encourage players in the industry to build good hotels. This project is about urbanisation and will create many jobs,” said Usi.
Tourism contributes about seven percent to the country’s gross domestic product, according to the Malawi Government Annual Economic Report, and is touted as one of the sectors that can help to diversify the economy.
Sunbird Tourism is one of the country’s hotel chains with nine properties, including Sunbird Capital in Lilongwe, Sunbird Mount Soche in Blantyre, Sunbird Lilongwe, Sunbird Mzuzu, Sunbird Nkopola Lodge in Mangochi, Sunbird Livingstonia Beach in Salima, Sunbird Chintheche in Nkhata Bay and Sunbird Ku Chawe in Zomba.