Malawi joined other 22 African countries at the 2018 Tourism Indaba which ran from 8th to 10th May at the Inkosi Lithuli ICC in Durban. Malawi's participation was in line with the implementation of the 2017-2022 strategic destination marketing framework which is a blueprint of key marketing initiatives that Malawi must undertake to enhance its visibility as a destination.
The Malawi team was led by the Secretary for Industry, Trade and tourism, Dr. Ken Ndala and the private sector companies that were at the Malawi stand included The Travel Centre, Malawian Style, Sunrise Ground Tours, Africa Global Travel and Tours, Lodges of Lake Malawi National Park, Umodzi Park and Resorts, Sunbird Hotels and Resorts and Malawi Airlines.
'South Africa is a key source market for Malawi on the continent. With over 100,000 visitors into Malawi from South Africa and also looking at the level of investment by South Africans in Malawi's tourism industry, our presence was very crucial. It was a platform for us as well as members of the private sector that were on the stand to interface and network with South African buyers, operators, exhibitors and others from Europe, America, Asia and other markets that were in attendance.' Said Isaac Katopola, the Director of Tourism
Indaba is Africa's leading travel and tourism show which showcases the diverse tourism products and attractions of Southern Africa. It attracts international exhibitors, tourism boards, tourism councils, Ministries and Departments responsible for tourism, tour operators, travel agencies, airlines, buyers and media from across the globe. This year countries from different parts of the world exhibited at the show.
'As Malawi we were showcasing our key product line that is; fresh water Lake Malawi and its biodiversity, Nature, growing Wildlife, Culture attractions and the growing Meetings, incentive travel, Conferences and Exhibition (MICE) segment. We were also sharing with the travel trade the new developments in the tourism industry in Malawi. Some of the activities undertaken on the sidelines of our participation at indaba included Regional Tourism Organisation of Southern Africa, RETOSA, Board meetings as well as holding of bilateral meetings with Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa on how we can ensure effective implementation of agreements that we signed with these countries in the field of tourism'. Katopola added.
Tsala Mapapa from The Travel Centre said 'South Africa is a strategic market for us and most of enquiries we have serviced indicated that there is increased demand for Malawi as a destination for those looking for a new and authentic experience. Most of these enquiries were on Lake Malawi and also the combination/ joint packaging of Lake Malawi and South Luangwa.