The government says it will continue prioritising the tourism and hospitality industry to boost Malawi’s foreign exchange earnings required for socio-economic development.
Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism Henry Mussa said this on Friday when he presided over the 14th graduation of the Malawi Institute of Tourism (MIT) in Blantyre where 500 students received diplomas and certificates in various courses offered by the college.
Mussa said government is interested in the provision of skilled labour and other amenities in all tourism attraction sites to provide first-class services to customers.
He said: “Currently, tourism contributes about eight percent of our [gross domestic product] GDP. Government is aware that training is critical in the tourism sector. But despite its growth in recent past, there has been a gap due to inadequate training.
“Government plans to construct a new MIT campus at Lingadzi in Lilongwe to increase enrolment and add manpower to the tourism sector to increase competitiveness.”
The minister urged the graduands to apply their acquired skills in the workplace to make customers, especially foreign tourists, get value for their money.
In her remarks, MIT executive director Isabel Chakhumbira commended government’s plans to construct a new campus in Lilongwe, saying there is great demand for skills in the tourism and hospitality industry.
She said: “Currently, the campus that we have in Blantyre has limited space. We only have eight classrooms against a student enrolment of about 700. So, we need more space.”