By Norah Hanke
The Department of Tourism has said the media tour it organised on September 25 to Game Haven was aimed at appreciating the job creation and corporate social responsibilities that the facility through tourism has managed to achieve in the surrounding communities.
Every year on September 27, Malawi and the rest of the world commemorate World Tourism Day and the Department of Tourism sets aside the whole of September as a tourism month.
This year’s theme is centered on Tourism and Jobs, a better future for all and research has shown that tourism is creating so many job opportunities and has employed more women and young ones.
In an interview with Malawi News Agency (Mana) on Wednesday, Regional Tourism Officer for the South, Christine Chimangeni said the tour was organised to give the public and the media an opportunity to learn the different job opportunities that Game Haven is creating for the surrounding community.
“In job creation, the tourism industry is creating 10 percent of the total employment. We continue engaging different players in the sector so that as they are creating jobs, first priority should be given to people around the facility.
“As a country, we continue to improve everyday in the tourism industry. We are getting a lot of investors in the industry; mainly the local people operating in the travel agency, restaurant, accommodation, among others,” Chimangeni said.
She added that as a country there is room for improvement first by Malawians to continue patronizing places of interest, domestic tourism.
Game Haven Managing Director, Greg Gange-Harris said as Game Haven this year business has been good for both local and international trade.
“We have managed to employ about 156 people at the Lodge from the surrounding community Bvumbwe and nearby areas. Most of our fresh foods are bought from Bvumbwe Market as a way of supporting the locals who are doing business,” Gange-Harris said.
He said the major challenge that Game Haven has is wind blowing thin plastics into the park that endangers wild animals.
“Over the years we have had problems of deforestation but things are better at the moment.
“Our relationship with the community is very good; we meet with the chiefs once every month and as of now we are planning to donate bluegum and acacias tree seedlings before the rainy season begins,” Gange-Harris said.
Mwaiwao Mtapasha one of the employees at Game Haven said he has benefited a lot from his employment with tourist attraction facility.
“I am able to fend for myself and I have managed to start a business that runs outside my work because of the money that I receive as salary,” Mtapasha said.
“I have learnt a lot of things from this place – I know how to welcome and serve a customer. I have managed to create a lot of friendships with customers,” he added.
Game Haven also provides skills development trainings to its staff members in form of computer training and hotel management.-MANA