The Malawi Tourism Council (MTC) says high taxes and the poor state of infrastructure are affecting investment initiatives in the tourism industry, making service delivery more expensive compared to neighbouring countries.
MTC board member Shiraz Waka, who is also Silver Sands Hotels general manager, said this on Thursday in Lilongwe on the sidelines of a meeting to form Hotels and Lodges Association with support from the council.
He said another major concern is regular power cuts, which remain costly to service delivery as businesses resort to diesel-powered generators which eats into anticipated profits.
Waka said: “These challenges are contributing to making the country’s tourism sector more expensive compared to neighbouring countries.”
Waka hoped that with the coming of the planned Malawi Tourism Authority, some of the concerns will be addressed adequately for the growth of the sector.
One of the facilitators, Elsie Tembo, former Principal Secretary in the Department of Tourism, acknowledged the challenges facing the tourism industry that needs to be urgently addressed.
Earlier, Department of Tourism director Isaac Katopola admitted that resources have been a challenge to improve road infrastructure, as such, projects are being carried out in phases.
According to MTC, it has been difficult to reach out to every individual, but when the associations are formed, they will be in direct contact with the board and make decisions together.