Malawi International Tourism Expo 2024 opens with emphasis on economic transformation


The 5th Malawi International Tourism Expo, known as “Takulandirani 2024,” commenced yesterday, April 25, with a grand opening ceremony at the Bingu International Convention Centre in Lilongwe. The expo, spanning three days, aims to serve as a vibrant platform for showcasing the best of Malawi’s tourism offerings while facilitating crucial engagements, networking opportunities, learning experiences, and business linkages.

The formal inauguration of the event was carried out by Malawi’s President, Dr. Lazarus Chakwera, aligning with this year’s theme, “Everything Tourism.” President Chakwera emphasized the pivotal role of tourism in the country’s economic transformation agenda, highlighting its significance within the ATM (Agriculture, Tourism, Mining) strategy aimed at driving sustainable development and economic transformation

During his address, President Chakwera underscored the importance of citizens assuming the role of ambassadors for promoting and marketing Malawi as a premier tourist destination. He emphasized that tourism not only enriches the economy but also creates sustainable job opportunities and wealth for the nation.

Minister of Tourism Vera Kamtukule, in her remarks, emphasized the expo’s significance in promoting Malawi’s tourism sector to both international and regional buyers. She lauded the event as a hallmark showcasing the country’s tourism offerings, providing a platform for attendees to experience Malawi’s hospitality beyond the conference center.

Highlighting the importance of regional collaboration, Minister Kamtukule welcomed exhibitors from various countries, including South Africa, Tanzania, Ghana, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Kenya, Uganda, Lesotho, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. She emphasized the potential for promoting complementarity among regional offerings rather than fostering competitiveness.

Acknowledging the government’s support for the tourism sector, Minister Kamtukule expressed gratitude to President Chakwera for the increased budget allocations, citing a significant rise of 58% in the Ministry’s budget for the fiscal year 2024/2025. Despite challenges posed by climate change, including damage to tourism properties caused by rising water levels in Lake Malawi, Minister Kamtukule assured attendees of the sector’s resilience and determination to find solutions in collaboration with relevant stakeholders.

Furthermore, Minister Kamtukule highlighted the importance of international engagement, noting the presence of high-value international hosted buyers and travel media from key markets. She emphasized their role as crucial commercial links between Malawi as a destination and global source markets.

Encouraging local tourism operators to capitalize on the expo, Kamtukule urged them to forge business relationships and promote Malawi as a destination of choice worldwide. She emphasized the unique opportunities offered by Malawi, transcending conventional narratives about tourism and leveraging it to showcase other sectors such as agriculture, mining, energy, education, and health.

The event also saw contributions from the Board Chairperson of the Malawi Tourism Council, Oswald Bwemba who pointed out the expo’s significance in unveiling local tourism products and services, fostering connections, and driving utilization locally, regionally, and globally.

He opined: “This Expo offers an unparalleled business and networking opportunity, especially for the private sector, which is the backbone of our tourism value chain. Through this international event, Malawi’s tourism products gain exposure locally, regionally, and globally, heightening awareness and driving utilization.”

The Chairperson commended the government’s prioritization of tourism within the national development agenda, emphasizing its potential to drive socio-economic development and job creation.

The Malawi Tourism Council echoed the government’s commitment to supporting the tourism sector through budgetary allocations and advocated for a harmonized sectoral policy framework to enhance the tourism experience and drive revenue.
“We also commend the government’s budget allocation of 4.8 billion Kwacha to the tourism sector, boosting productivity. Our hope is that tourism development continues to receive meaningful support through national budgetary allocations across various sectors that enable tourism to thrive, including transport, water, energy, security, finance, ICT, and aviation,” he stated.

The opening ceremony witnessed a rich display of the finest of Malawi’s traditional music and dance intriguing the large crowd of buyers, exhibitors, media and other participants who have come from all over the world to attend this year’s expo.


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