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Arts, culture key in boosting tourism—Baf

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Organisers of Blantyre Arts Festival (Baf) said Tuesday that they will continue to work with the government through Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife and stakeholders to help propel tourism in the country.

The country joined the rest of the world Tuesday to commemorate World Tourism Day, with this year’s theme being ‘Rethinking Tourism’.

Baf returns to the fold this year after a two-year break due to Covid and will this time take place free-of-charge for two days at Njamba Park on October 8 to 9.

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Baf Executive Director Thom Chibambo said arts and culture are vital in promoting tourism and that they need not be sidelined.

“We hold our festival in October because we aligned it to tourism, especially September being tourism month. We are not the only festival but we also have festivals such as Sand Music, Tumaini, Lake of Stars and others that are there to help in boosting tourism,” Chibambo said.

He described Baf as a festival that has over the years attracted international artists and tourists, who, apart from enjoying activities, have also gone on to visit different attractive places in the country.

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“This year we have Temp Trio from Hannover, Germany, who are already here, and we also have other delegates from Germany and other countries that will patronise the festival,” Chibambo said.

He then called for support from stakeholders to work with festivals in their efforts to boost tourism.

“We are happy that, this year, so many organisations are coming forth to work with us during the festival. This is what we want. We also have players in the hospitality industry such as Amaryllis Hotel who have supported us greatly and even sponsored artists such as Lulu to perform at the festival this year,” Chibambo said.

He also said they were working hand-in-hand with Blantyre City Council which will help them in providing personnel and other resources for the success of the festival.

Chibambo also said the mayor will be part of the opening of the festival on October 6 at Amaryllis Hotel, whose theme is ‘Climate Resilience through Cultural Preservation’.

Minister of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife Michael Usi recently said festivals were crucial in uplifting tourism.

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