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Tourism sector eyes on adopting a national policy

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Malawi tourism sector has been operating using a draft policy which was developed in 2004, a development said to have been affecting the growth of the sector.

Chief Director of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism, Elsie Tembo, said with a development of a National Tourism Policy, Malawi’s earnings through tourism can considerably grow.

Tembo made the remarks in Blantyre on Friday during a consultative meeting with players in the tourism sector, sharing notes on the importance of developing a National Tourism Policy.

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She said in 2014 alone, Malawi earned K88 billion from tourism, contributing about 8.9 percent Gross Domestic Product to the country.

“The consultative meeting is very crucial because we are shaping the policy together, tourism players and government. The policy will, among others, address issues to do with institution arrangements, regulatory framework, product development and its improvement and issues to do with destination awareness,” she said.

The sector was being supported by other strategic documents such as the 2001-2008 strategic tourism development plan, the 2009-2014 Malawi tourism strategy before the recently developed Malawi 2020 tourism development strategy.

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Proprietor of Annie’s Lodge, Annie Fletcher, said the policy will give ample room to women to easily venture into the tourism business.

“This is going to contribute a lot because it will open up more tourism in this country, which will be good for the visitors who are coming in. I am sure they expect a lot from this country. I must also thank the Ministry of Tourism for incorporating the stakeholders, because we do face a lot of challenges on the ground for instance, land, finances and women are not fortified to venture into the sector,” Fletcher said.

The policy, among others, looks at instituting a semi-autonomous body that will be responsible for licensing institutions and destination marketing.

2014 estimates indicate that at least 820,000 people visited Malawi.

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