Hospitality company Kumbali and listed mobile telecoms operator TNM plc have partnered to launch a 52-day expedition of Lake Malawi, which government says will play a pivotal role in repositioning the lake to tourists and investors.
Kumbali Lodges chief executive officer (CEO) Maureen Pickering, whose company is the brain-child of the expedition, said at the launch in Salima on Sunday that the idea came about following a desire to create a positive image of the lake and the country.
“The project helps us see the lake from the water’s edge, interacting with local communities, visiting less travelled sites and observing culture, landscape, wildlife, fauna and flora and histories of people we meet enroute,” she said.
Pickering said Kumbali partnered government, through the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism and TNM plc, for the expedition.
Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism Francis Kasaila commended mobile telecommunications and ICT services network provider for promoting tourism potential.
“TNM are always with us in tourism. Being a Malawian-owned company, they never get tired of supporting many causes in the sector and government is proud of them,” he said.
TNM is an annual sponsor of major tourism events, namely the Mulanje Porters Race, which promotes eco-tourism on Mulanje Mountain and the Lake Malawi Triathlone at Cape Maclear in Mangochi.
Kasaila challenged tour operators and developers to do more on promoting Lake Malawi by properly packaging offers and marketing them to both tourists and tourism investors.
TNM plc CEO Michiel Buitelaar, whose company has pumped K22.2 million for the project, said the sponsorship reaffirms TNM plc commitment to creating possibilities through promoting Lake Malawi, one of the country’s largest natural and tourism assets.
“Our involvement in this tour expedition is a continuation of our efforts to apply technology as catalyst for socio-economic transformation,” he said.
Dubbed the Calendar Lake Project, the expedition will produce a television documentary to promote the lake’s biodiversity and ecotourism. n