By Kondwani Munthali, Malawi High Commission, London, UK
Prospective investors, tour operators, airlines and business officials in London on Thursday gathered at Scotland House for a “Taste of Malawi” night where Industry, Trade and Tourism Minister Salim Bagus said the sector is set to become one of the key economic sectors.
Bagus told the annual Malawi UK Business Group event at Scotland House in London that Tourism was registering growth and that new investments in the sector were likely to spur more visitors into Malawi.
“Tonight, I bring you good news. Malawi is ready to welcome you to be part of the new exciting developments that will grow tourism in the next three years to levels not seen before.
“We are back as a big five destination and that is just the beginning,” said the Minister.
Bagus said the UK presents a huge opportunity for the Malawi Tourism industry as the two countries enjoy historical links that are now expanding into trade as the UK Government has designated Malawi as one of the key investment destinations.
Director of Tourism, Isaac Katopola in his presentation on investment opportunities in Malawi, said feasibility studies have been commissioned for Nankumba tourism hub and Mulanje Mountain Cable Cars Project which could turn around figures in tourism.
Katopola also said investors were welcome to redevelop Kasungu National Park which will include restocking of wildlife and community outreach and support programmes so that the park returns to its former glory.
“We are also looking for investors in expanding accommodation and resorts along the lake and even those that might wish to run lodges, car hires and other services that support the industry,” said Katopola.
Representative of the Tour Operators, Kelly White of the Malawi Tourism Marketing Consortium said the country was one of the unexploited and natural destinations whose product is easy to sell within the UK market.
“There has been tremendous progress in terms of visibility of Malawi in the UK. The efforts should continue to support such rapid growth of the sector,” said White.
The event was an initiative of the Malawi Business Group UK, Malawi High Commission, the Scotland – Malawi Partnership and the Scottish Government through Scotland House in London.
Guests to the event were treated to Mzuzu Coffee, Premier Brandy, Malawi Gin, Nali Chilli sauce, Macademia and roasted nuts, Chombe tea, Linga Wine and Malawian and Scottish themed snacks.