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Lazarus Chakwera launches K510 billion Tourism Investment Plan

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Michael Usi

President Lazarus Chakwera Monday said the country has potential to realise massive gains from the tourism sector by making tourism products marketable.

Chakwera, who presided over the launch of the Malawi Tourism Investment Master Plan at Bingu International Convention Centre in Lilongwe, said the sector contributes to the country’s economic growth by, among other things, generating direct investment and significant export earnings as well as supporting the development of small businesses.

“Malawi is a country with great potential for safaris and holidays on account of such wonderful attractions as wildlife, beautiful beaches, a fresh-water lake like no other and mountains. Executing this plan is how we turn our country’s tourism potential into real opportunity for employment, business and foreign revenue,” he said.

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The Malawi leader said Malawi 2063 prioritises tourism as a catalyst for achieving the agenda, adding that the government was making strides towards creating an enabling environment for the tourism sector to grow exponentially.

The master plan is a 20- year strategy for developing and diversifying tourism’s direct products. At least 103 projects have been earmarked, with 10 priority projects distributed across the regions.

The master plan has been developed with a capital of $660 million (approximately K510 billion) out of which $360 million is for infrastructure projects.

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The projects, to be funded by the African Development Bank, aim at increasing accommodation and man-made attraction sites to increase the length of stay of visitors.

Tourism and Culture Minister Michael Usi said people’s attitudes towards government projects were a factor that would contribute to the achievement of the successful implementation of the master plan.

Commenting on the matter, Director General for National Planning Commission Thomas Munthali said the key issue was to work towards securing finances for the projects.

“We are excited that we already have some partners. We will be working with the Ministry of Tourism and MITC [Malawi Investment Trade Centre] to see which other sources of financing would have to be explored,” he said.

The tourism master plan surrounds key tourism products of natural resources, lake, wildlife, people, scenery and landscape, among others.

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