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Hospitality units to tap from Covid-19 fund

AFFECTED—Facilities like this will benefit

By Tione Andsen:

The Ministry of Environment, Tourism and Wildlife has said only licensed tourism units will qualify for a financial boost from the special fund meant to cushion industry players from effects of Covid-19.

Spokesperson for the ministry, Milca Manyozo, said the government was concerned that the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the tourism industry.

She said Covid-19 has led to a slowed down in the business and the tourism industry needs assistance to survive.

“The funds were identified; we will focus on assisting those law abiding tourism units. Those that are licensed by Tourism and Hotels Board and are tax compliant,” she pointed out.

Manyozo said arrangements are underway for tourism players in the industry to submit requirements to the government for consideration, which they have since done through the Malawi Tourism Council (MTC).

MTC Chairperson, Van Der Linden welcomed the move.

“That is a normal and we have already communicated that to our members. We have agreed with government that only those who have been tax compliant up to March will be ones to benefit,” he added.

Currently, they are two committees in place looking into the two issues and all labour issues will be handled by labour cluster championed by the Ministry of Labour.

According to MTC, monthly salaries for the industry go up to over K 7.4 billion.

In a letter to the Malawi Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCI), MTC argued that it was necessary to redeem the industry since it contributes K13.5 billion per month during stable economic conditions.

The Covid-19 pandemic has so far, affected almost all the sectors of the country’s economy with the tourism sector being among the worst hit alongside aviation.

Recently, the Reserve Bank of Malawi released an indicative report that the industry would shrink by 9.9 percent contrary to its projected growth of about 4.8 percent this year.

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