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Minister challenges tourism businesses

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Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Culture Michael Usi has urged operators of tourism spots in the country to work towards re-positioning their businesses amid challenges emanating from the Covid pandemic.

Usi was speaking on Monday during an interface with tourism operators in Mulanje District.

“The Covid pandemic has negatively affected the tourism sector. Therefore, I thought it is necessary to engage with operators in the sector to reflect on our marketing strategies.

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“We will not be in this situation forever. Once things clear up, we need to be ready to bounce back strongly,” Usi said.

Usi said the Ministry of Tourism has a number of strategies for improving the ailing industry.

He cites an initiative to engage international partners to invest in the local tourism sector.

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Most tourism operators have complained about experiencing slow business as the industry makes money from visitors from other parts of the world, which has been restricted due to Covid.

Proprietor of Nancy’s Dream Restaurant and Chairperson of Tourism Association of Mount- Mulanje Nancy Chinyanya said her business has been closed for a while, due to Covid effects.

She said there is hope that the government will improve the sector for the sake of its operators.

“I lay off all of my workers because I could not manage to pay them. The encouragement by the minister has given some of us a boost and we hope we will get back on our feet with the help of the government,” she said.

It was recently revealed that 30, 000 jobs have been lost in Malawi’s tourism industry due to travel restrictions as a result of Covid, while the economy has been starved of K42 billion in possible tourism revenue.

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