Malawi to host first International Tourism Expo

Lilongwe, Malawi will in the month of September hold its first ever International Tourism Fairs or Expositions (Expo) at the Bingu International Convention Centre in bid to uplift the tourism industry in the country.

The expo, dubbed Takulandirani International tourism expo comes as one of the strategies the country has taken to reinforce its tourism brand on the regional and international market.

It is a follow up to one of the key recommendations made at the recent National tourism conference which suggested that Malawi should have its own tourism expo if the country is to increase its visibility and build capacity in its tourism services.

According to a press statement made available to Malawi News Agency (Mana), the Expo which will start on 30 August and end on 1 September, is expected to attract the attention of international and regional buyers, exhibitors, tourism authorities, media, the academia, ministries responsible for tourism and the general public.

The objective is to provide a platform for participants at the fair to interface and experience first-hand Malawi’s tourism products and share best practices on how to network and package Malawi’s tourism products for increased returns.

It will bring buyers and sellers in one place and help facilitation of face to face meetings and conclusion of deals, reads part of the statement issued by Sarah Njanji, Principal Tourism officer in the Department of Tourism.

According to the statement, the Expo comes timely as it resonates with Government’s decision to include tourism as a key economic driver for social economic development.

Amongst other benefits, the fair will offer a majority of local operators an opportunity to learn from leading operators from Malawi, the region and beyond.

The statement says the Expo will offer an opportunity for key stakeholders to appreciate that travel is only a component of tourism.

It will also provide a cost effective platform for local operators who might not have had the chance to transact business face to face with international buyers outside the country.

Prior to the event, there will be pre- Expo tours to some of the key attractions across the country.

This aims at giving the international and regional buyers and the media an opportunity to get an in-depth product knowledge of the various tourism products Malawi is endowed with.

The pre Expo tour will also provide an invaluable buyer, exhibitor and client experience on what to expect during particular destination visits and information on enquiries related to the destination.

Some of the other benefits of holding the Expos are creational of seasonal jobs and businesses for entrepreneurs as they design, construct, brand and decorates stands.

On the financial aspect, Expos are a source of revenue for the local service providers and the country in general as participants will pay for their living expenses.

Expos also help in providing an opportunity to create and receive feedback.

Source: Malawi News Agency � MANA