Find Tourism and Travel partners in Malawi
The travel and tourism sector contributed MWK53,398.2m to the Malawian economy in 2011. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) the industry provided 162,500 jobs (5.3% of total employment). This places the country 132nd in the world (out of 181 countries) in relation to the relative contribution of the industry to GDP in 2011, with a 6.1% share compared to a world average of 14% (WTTC 2011). In 2010 there were 746,000 tourist arrivals, predominantly from Southern Africa and focused on Lake Malawi and the mountains. Visitor exports generated MWK6,252m in 2011, constituting 2.8% of total exports. The Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Culture is responsible for tourism. In 2011 the Ministry took part in various tourism trade and consumer fairs, particularly in South Africa, Europe and China, in order to promote the Malawian tourist industry abroad. Promotion campaigns were also operated through magazines, websites and other sources. The relevant trade body is the Malawi Tourism Association.
The tourism industry in Malawi offers great potential for growth. The country is well renowned for its lake (Lake Malawi, the 3rd largest freshwater lake in Africa), wildlife experiences and landscapes. The natural attributes of Malawi have been recognised by high profile trip operators and accommodation providers, such as Robin Pope Safaris and Saga, and have attracted increasing investment. A major tourist attraction in the nation, and focus for investment, is its wildlife reserves. Notable among these is the Majete Wildlife Reserve in Malawi’s Lower Shire Valley, which has received much attention as a successful conservation centre. Less well-known is the Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve in the east of the country, which has received a grant from the World Bank in order to develop its involvement in sustainable tourism. The wildlife reserves, alongside the country’s National Parks and forest reserves, provide excellent game viewing and bird watching. Adventure tourism is also a popular and growing field, with water-sports and diving provided by Lake Malawi, and hiking, climbing and mountain biking possible in many places.
The government promotes investment in tourism to increase capacity and upgrade accommodation and transport. Malawi is benefitting from improvements to its tourist infrastructure with the establishment of better air links, such as the increase in Ethiopian airline flights to Malawi from London in June 2012.
Investment in travel and tourism in 2011 was MWK2,811.6m, which constituted 1.3% of total investment. It was expected to fall by 1% in 2012, and then rise by 7% pa over the following ten years, reaching MWK5,492.8m by 2022.