As a measure of survival the Covid-19 pandemic, players in the tourism industry are employing survival tactics to avoid closing shop and laying off staff.
Dedza Pottery assistant manager Chifuno Stevens said during a media familiarisation tour organised by the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife that business almost halted due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Stevens said the majority of consumers of their pottery products have been international tourists who have over the years helped the company to produce optimally, but now, there is drastic reduction of business as tourists cannot visit the site.
As part of the survival tactics, she said they have intensified online marketing to international tourists who are supporting the business, by shipping their orders.
Stevens said: “With the closure of borders, our business has suffered heavily, however, we are selling our products online to international tourists as part of a survival tactic.”
Domestically, she said the business is not doing well as consumers are not favourably coming forth due to economic turbulence.
The company has 100 employees whom Stevens said work on rotational shifts.
In the same vein Salima-based Kuti Game Reserves manager Tomeyo Munga said since the pandemic struck early last year, business significantly suffered a knock as majority of clients were expatriates.
He said high schools along with other interest groups, families and individuals were trekking to the game reserve to experience local life and see birds and game.
“We are touching base with external clients so that as the world is opening up for business, we should be a priority destination because locally, domestic tourism is not doing well,” Munga said.
Lilongwe-based Chingalire Cultural Homestay proprietor Ben Michael Mankhamba, whose centre offers a diverse range of cultural activities for tourist attraction, said the domestic market should be encouraged owing to the Covid-19 business challenges.
Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife chief tourism officer Sarah Njanji said as Covid-19 continues to hit the sector, serious efforts are being made to promote domestic tourism for the survival of businesses through popularising existing establishments.
She said: “It’s true that Covid-19 has brought about serious challenges, but we also acknowledge it has brought opportunities for domestic tourism.
“What is important is to provide necessary information and we encourage local players to come up with special packages tailor-made for local travellers to find them attractive and affordable.”