Local tourism officials last week joined their counterparts in 22 African countries at the 2018 Tourism Indaba in Durban, South Africa to market the country’s tourism potential.
Malawi’s participation was in line with the implementation of the five-year Strategic Destination Marketing Framework, which is a blueprint of key marketing initiatives in the tourism sector.
A statement from the Department of Tourism says the Malawi delegation was led by Secretary for Industry, Trade and Tourism Ken Ndala and director of tourism Isaac Katopola.
Apart from government officials, the private sector was also represented by Travel Centre, Malawian Style, Sunrise Ground Tours, Africa Global Travel and Tours, Lodges of Lake Malawi National Park, Umodzi Park and Resorts, Sunbird Tourism and Malawian Airlines.
In an interview on Sunday, Katopola said the country must do all it can to ensure that it gets its fair share of the tourism market in Africa.
“South Africa is a key source market for Malawi on the continent. With over 100 000 visitors into Malawi from South Africa and also looking at the level of investment by South Africa in Malawi’s tourism industry, our presence was crucial.
“It was a platform for us as well as members of the private sector to interface and network with South African buyers, operators, exhibitors and others from Europe, America and Asia,” he said.
Katopola said the indaba is Africa’s leading travel and tourism show which showcases diverse tourism products and attractions from Southern Africa.
“The gathering attracts international exhibitors, tourism boards, tourism councils, ministries and departments responsible for tourism, tour operators, travel agencies, airlines, buyers and media from across the globe. This year, countries from different parts of the world exhibited at the show,” he added.
The Malawi delegation showcased some of its key product lines that included Lake Malawi and its biodiversity, nature, growing wildlife and cultural attractions.
An official from The Travel Centre Tsala Mapapa said South Africa is a strategic market for the country and most of enquiries they have serviced showed increased demand for Malawi as a destination for tourism.
“Most of these enquiries were on Lake Malawi and also the combination/joint packaging of Lake Malawi and South Luangwa,” he said. n