The Department of Tourism in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism has described the inaugural Malawi International Tourism Expo (Mite) held last week in Lilongwe as a success and a milestone in improving the sector.
Speaking on the last day of the three-day expo, the ministry’s chief director Elsie Tembo said the event created a platform for local operators to learn from their international counterparts as it has been a challenge for most of them to attend international expos due to financial constraints.
“We are happy with the response from the operators locally and also from those who came from across the borders. It is really a success, especially being the first if its kind.
“I believe this has created a platform for our local operators to connect with foreign operators whom we call buyers and can, therefore, learn and improve on their daily activities,” she said.
Other participants at the expo also expressed similar sentiments.
“The expo has been good. They have done well for the inaugural expo and we can only hope that they will build from where they have started from. It is our wish that this will be an annual event that will be put on the international tourism calendar.
“This will increase arrivals for Malawi because it is easier to sell a product that people have experienced than what they see in books,” said Solistor Cheelo, an exhibitor from Zambia Tourism Agency.
One of the local exhibitors, Stan Phiri from Sunrise Ground Tours, said the organisation of the expo was impressive.
He said the expo will put Malawi on the map and bring the much-needed foreign exchange.
The expo attracted tourism enthusiasts from Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, the Netherlands, China and Britain.n