Malawi has been ranked among the world’s top 10 “must-visit” destinations in 2022 by Lonely Planet, a world leading travel guide book publisher.
Of the 10 countries, Malawi is among three African countries which include Mauritius, ranked number three and Egypt, ranked number 10.
This is the second time within six years for Malawi to be categorised on the list of distinguished destinations.
The ranking comes as the tourism sector is poised as the next big thing for Malawi, touting its prospects of becoming the country’s single top foreign exchange earner with potential of contributing heavily towards national economic development.
In its commentary, Lonely Planet says Malawi, a landlocked country in southeastern Africa, “is well-known for its extraordinary freshwater lake, Lake Malawi National Park – sheltering diverse wildlife.”
In an interview yesterday, Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Culture Michael Usi said the country would deploy necessary efforts to leverage on the ranking.
“We are now a global tourism market; a must-visit place. What it means is that the whole world is looking at Malawi and we are in competition. We must market ourselves aggressively,” Usi said.
He said, in collaboration with all players in the sector, the government was devising ways of raising standards within the sector to have a competitive edge.
While saying that Malawi, already has policies in place to propel growth of the sector, Usi conceded that more needed to be done in implementing the plans.
Recently, Malawi introduced the Strategic Tourism Marketing Framework — a five-year strategy for marketing the country to the world to increase tourists’ inflow.
The blueprint redefines Malawi’s tourism product lines in the scope of Experience Lake, Experience Nature, Experience Wildlife, Experience Culture and Experience Mice.
It is earmarked to market Lake Malawi, which is the fifth largest fresh-water lake in the world by volume, the ninth largest lake in the world by area and the third largest and second deepest lake in Africa with high endemic fish bio-diversity.
The strategy also sells Malawi’s cultural practices and cultural village setup to give tourists a feel of typical village life,
In a separate interview Sunday, Malawi Tourism Council Board Chairperson Jones Malili said Malawians should work tirelessly to market the country to tourists.
“This is good news to the tourism industry. The government and the private sector should work to boost inflow of tourists in the country by systematically marketing the country as already, Malawi boasts of key tourists’ attraction sites such as, the lake,” he said.
In Malawi, like in most countries across the globe, tourism is one of the hardest hit sectors of the economy by the Covid pandemic.