Malawi’s Ministry of Tourism has hailed the return of the Malawi International Tourism Expo (MITE), which was an overwhelming success this year.
The two-day international tourism expo tagged “Takulandirani” brought together tourism operators, experts, DMCs, and local suppliers to transact business at the Bingu Wa International Convention Centre in Lilongwe.
Speaking at the official closing ceremony of this year’s MITE, Dr. Lazarus Chakwera, President of Malawi, said he found it necessary to join the tourism industry and participants to demonstrate his government’s unwavering commitment to the tourism industry.
“On this last day of the Expo, I felt it necessary to come and join you in person for one simple reason. I wanted to demonstrate my government’s unwavering commitment and support to the tourism industry in Malawi as a central piece of our ATM Strategy for revolutionizing the three sectors of Agriculture, Tourism, and Mining to boost the productivity of our economy and the prosperity of Malawians,’’ the President said.
The Malawian leader also revealed he has directed Vera Kamtukule, Minister of Tourism, to look at the environment of Malawi to identify both the tourism assets and obstacles hindering its progress in order to create a buoyant tourism sector.
‘’In this respect, I directed the Minister of Tourism, Hon. Vera Kamtukule, to look at the environment of Malawi with a new and critical eye to identify both our tourism assets and the obstacles we must lift this year to turn them into tourist attractions that generate revenue, both from Malawians with disposable incomes and international guests with a taste for beautiful and hospitable countries, of which Malawi is the crown Jewel,’’ President Chakwera added.
“While we as a government are working on creating a conducive environment for tourism to thrive, there is no substitute for the changes and innovations that players in the tourism sector itself have to embrace in order to make the most of the environment we are creating. ‘’
President Chakwera said his government is committed to supporting the growth of the sector being an important enabler of Malawi 2063.
On her part, Vera Kamkutule, Minister of Tourism, said the event exceeded their expectations considering the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on businesses and destinations.
“We were planning for 70 exhibitors to take part in this year’s event considering the break due to Covid-19 challenges, but I am happy to report that instead, we had 115 exhibitors this was one of the success stories in this year’s event. We also had Zimbabwe Ministry of Environmental Affairs, Tourism and Hospitality Management and Tanzania Tourist Board represented,” she revealed.
The Minister, who was full of appreciation for the support from the tourism industry, extolled the resilience of the people of Malawi for showcasing the country’s warmth to the visiting delegates in spite of the multitude of challenges particularly the recent cyclone, which has seen almost 1000 lives lost.
She was optimistic that the various networking session between the international buyers and local tourism service providers shall lead to business partnerships that will transcend into Malawi tourism products being sold on the international markets starting this September 2023 when most tour packages are developed for the 2024 season and beyond.
Justin Dzimkambani, chairperson of the Malawi Tourism Council, was full of praise for the president in participating in this very important. He reiterated the private sector’s commitment and collaboration in supporting tourism to create more jobs in Malawi.
He commended the government’s policy to waive visas for Malawi’s key source markets and urged the appropriate authorities to expedite action on rolling out the policy. The Malawi Vision 2063 plan provides futuristic hope for the people of Malawi and working hard with the tourism ecosystem will help in actualizing the plan.
There was a total of 51 international buyers (tour operators /travel agents) and media from across Africa and the world including UK, USA, Germany, Italy, Spain, South Africa, Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Ghana and Nigeria, who had the opportunity to sample our tourism products and do business with our local suppliers.
Some of the highlights of the expo include pre and post-tours organized for the visitors to enable them have a first-hand appreciation of Malawian tourism attractions. The tours were organised by the Ministry of Tourism Malawi.
Click HERE to view pictures from MITE 2023