Minister for sanity in tourism industry
Newly appointed Minister of Tourism Vera Kamtukule has committed to engage stakeholders in the sector in dealing with factors impinging the sector’s growth.
Kamtukule was speaking on Monday after handing over infrastructure which has been built at Lake Malawi National Park in Mangochi with support from the African Development Bank.
Among other things, Kamtukule said the engagement would focus on review of taxes, licences and levies.
She said some stakeholders have been singling out high fees and operational costs among factors limiting investment and growth of the sector locally.
She said a discussion on the issues would help increase domestic tourism and spur growth in terms of level of investment in the sector by natives
“We have to make it a must that all Malawians are participating in the local tourism sector so that they can start marketing the country. We have a lot of things which we can sell to the world if Malawians are aware of them,” Kamtukule said.
In his remarks, African Development Bank Project Coordinator for Promotion of Investment and Competitiveness in the Tourism Sector Herbert Chihana said the financial institution is happy that most Malawians are now aware of the importance of preserving natural resources within the country’s parks.
He said through the PICTS, ADB has put aside about $11 billion to improve roads and other infrastructure within the parks to increase traffic of tourists.
“We have provided patrol boats for lake Malawi, we have also renovated hotels here and other structures at Kasungu National Park. In addition to that, we have issued grants to cooperatives that are living close to the park for them to be self-reliant and stop depending on the parks illegally,” Chihana said.