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Malawi calls for tourism integration

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By Chimwemwe Mangazi:

INTEGRATION IS IMPORTANT—Mussa (right) and another official during the Expo

Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Henry Mussa, has called upon his Zimbabwean and South African counterparts to work together towards integrating the region’s tourist products as a way of enhancing tourist experience.

Mussa was speaking when he returned from Zimbabwe where he participated in the 2018 Hlanganani World Travel Expo, held at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair Grounds in Bulawayo.

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Mussa said African countries need to make it easier for international tourists to travel from one country to another by harmonising their visa regime.

“Malawi is in the process of reviewing its visa fees to be in line with those in the region. Zimbabwe is a strategic market for Malawi regionally and the integration of these two great nations goes back to the federation days.

“Our presence was two-fold. First, we wanted to enhance our integration with our counterparts and second, we showcased Malawi’s tourism products and services to the 150 buyers that were at this show so that they can start packaging Malawi,” Mussa said.

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During a round table discussion, which was attended by ministers from South Africa and Zimbabwe, and others, Mussa said he reiterated the importance of digital platforms for boosting of the tourism industry as relayed by this year’s theme ‘Tourism and the Digital Transformation in Africa’.

“Digital transformation has given all players in the tourism sector especially here in Africa, an opportunity to harness this powerful and cost-effective tool to create more job, employment and generate revenue for economic development,” Mussa said.

Malawi joined other 23 countries who participated in the Hlanganani World Travel Expo, in line with the implementation of the 2017- 2022 strategic destination marketing framework which is a blueprint of key marketing initiatives that Malawi must undertake to enhance its visibility as a tourism destination.

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