Berlin has told Lilongwe to take tourism as a priority during budget allocations because the sector has the potential to end economic challenges that come with poor forex generation.
Captains of industry and economists say that Malawi no longer generates more forex as it used to do, because of the bleak future surrounding tobacco, the country’s green gold.
But Malawi during the leadership of former president the late Bingu wa Mutharika prioritised tourism as it was among the top 10 sectors meant to bring foreign exchange earnings to Malawi.
German Ambassador, Jurgen Borsch, said this on Thursday when he and other officials from the Germany Embassy and those from GIZ visited Malawi Institute of Tourism (MIT) and Alendo Hotels in Blantyre.
He noted that issues of roads infrastructure and well trained human resource are crucial to providing standard tourism services to local and international tourists.
“Malawi should learn from Berlin. We prioritise tourism because it is booming industry if well managed and so with the 2017 Mid-Term-Budget Review in progress, there is need for Parliament to ensure that they think of putting tourism as a priority,” said Borsch.
He said Germany spends almost 84 million euros annually through travels to tourist attraction
areas globally, which Malawi can tap in from, if tourism is given more attention.
The visit was in recognition to the pact that is there between Malawi and Germany through GIZ.
MIT Executive Director, Isabel Chakhumbira, said the institute will continue to provide training and quality hospitality services to clients so as to generate more funds to run the affairs of the institute.
“We face more challenges which need financial support from countries like Germany and their visit is timely. We no longer receive funding from the government and this is a challenge. We have to use what we get from training and hospitality services,” Chakhumbira said.
She further said that plans to construct a new training campus in Lilongwe are facing hurdles due to lack of funds, something that was brought to the attention of the Ambassador.
MIT was established to offer training in hospitality and food and beverages to Malawians who have the Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) and those willing to upgrade.