Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE)-listed hotel chain Sunbird Tourism plc has taken tourism to another level with the launch of K200 million water sport equipment that will add value to the local tourism sector.
Minister of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development Francis Kasaila launched the equipment on Saturday at Sunbird Nkopola Lodge in Mangochi.
Besides Sunbird Nkopola Lodge, the other equipment will be at Sunbird Livingstonia Beach in Salima.
Kasaila said the equipment will improve the tourism sector and attract more tourists to the two resorts.
He said: “If we want to attract tourists to come to our lakeshore resorts, there is a need for adding value, not just accommodation and food. We have a beautiful lake that we need to start using [and] the equipment will attract not only foreign tourists but domestic ones as well.
“This development will also bring employment to people surrounding this area because as more people come here, the more services they will be demanding.”
Kasaila said the water sport equipment will also allow tourists to come and compete in different types of water sports activities.
Sunbird Tourism plc group board chairperson Phillip Madinga said the development, is the first in the country’s tourism sector.
“We are a leading brand in the hospitality industry in the country. We are working with the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism,” he said.
Madinga said apart from the new activities, the company is constructing a 500-seater conference facility at Sunbird Mount Soche in Blantyre.
“We have also commenced refurbishment of the 35 rooms at Livingstonia and construction of eight new rooms. By the end of this year, we will announce the construction of a new 42-room five-star hotel at Sunbird Livingstonia Beach in Salima,” he said.
Among the sports equipment are four-speed boats, four jet skis, two motor boats, banana boats, a skimmer and other motorised engine equipment.
Tourism contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to jump to 7.7 percent this year from last year’s 3.1 percent, according to the Malawi Government Annual Economic Report 2018.