Local Tourists Hope For Malawi's Tourism Sector
The Ministry of Tourism has advised Malawians to embrace local domestic tourism following a drop in foreign tourists due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Regional Tourism Officer for the north, Japhet Kuweluza says the drop has resulted in at least 35 thousand people losing employment in countries sector.
`‘We are training and promoting local tourism, because we know that, COVID-19 will still be around. With this, we believe more domestic tourists will starting appreciating the local sites that would be safe from the pandemic.
About 154 business operators have been targeted.
The impact of Covid- 19 on the sector has also forced operators to reduce rates for their sites making them affordable for locals and this is according to Nkhakar Lodge, Manager Abron Soko.
‘`Rooms occupation were reaching 80 percent. But with the pandemic, it is at zero percent. What it means is, the rooms that we were charging K26, 000 are now at K5, 000“, says Soko.
Tour guides are amongst the tourism resource that has been hit hard.
Davie Kondowe from Nkhatabay indicates that they depend much on foreign tourists, but since the figures have dropped, life is now tough for them.
Complained Kondowe, `` I am failing to pay my workers. I have closed some of the shops since foreign tourists who give us business since they are not coming due to the pandemic.
Some of the tourist attraction spots in the north include the beaches of Lake Malawi, Vwaza game reserve, Nyika national park both in Rumphi to mention but a few.