President Lazarus Chakwera is today expected to launch the 20-year National Tourism Investment Masterplan.
Tourism Minister Michael Usi told reporters on Friday that the master plan is one of the key instruments that would guide stakeholders in the development of tourism in the country.
Usi said, despite Malawi being blessed with one of the richest natural and cultural resources in the region, it was worrying to note that the country’s share of the international tourism market had been growing slowly.
He said one of the reasons for the slow growth is unplanned for, and low, private sector tourism investment in prime tourism sites, a development that had affected the competitiveness of Malawi as a tourist destination.
“The National Tourism Investment Masterplan is the blueprint that addresses the challenge of unplanned tourism investment across the country. It has been aligned to the Malawi 2063 under the urbanisation pillar, which regards tourism as a catalyst for tourism development.
“Implementation of the Masterplan is also aligned to the Malawi Implementation Plan 1 to ensure availability of resources for tourism support infrastructure in the annual budgets. The Malawi 2063 rightly acknowledges that Malawi has a rich diversity of unique natural, cultural and man-made resources that have not been fully utilised for tourism,” Usi said.
He said it was sad that the country had, over the years, witnessed the exponential growth of unplanned tourism sites, especially along the shores of Lake Malawi.
“For Malawi to be competitive as a tourist destination, we need quality tourism facilities and services. We need to utilise our prime tourist sites for tourism,” Usi said.
On land for tourism development and investment, Usi said a legal framework already exists under the Land Act of 2016, which controls the development of plots along the lakeshore.