Written by  Geoffrey Chinawa

The Ministry of Tourism has challenged players in the sector to include all their stakeholders such as communities around their facilities in their COVID-19 pandemic recovery strategies.

Tourism Facility: Affected Tourism Facility: Affected

Addressing the press in Blantyre the Regional Tourism Officer for the South Christine Chimangeni said the COVID-19 pandemic has heavily disrupted the tourism sector for about two years now.

According to Chimangeni the adverse effects of COVID-19 pandemic have not only affect the coming of visitors but it has also affected other community projects that tourism entities carry out in their areas.  

To mark activities of the International Tourism Day which falls on 27th September every year the Ministry of Tourism in the Southern Region took journalist's to Majete Game Reserve in Chikwawa and Fisherman's Rest in Blantyre.

There the team appreciated community project's the two tourism players are undertaking in accordance with this year’s theme which is calling for "Inclusive Tourism Growth".

At Majete Game Reserve and Fisherman's Rest it has been discovered that due to the COVID-19 pandemic effect the two institutions are struggling to give back to the people through their community projects.

According to Dixie Makwale a Community Extension Manager at Majete Game Reserve tourism revenue at the facility has dwindled significantly.

He said because of this they are unable to implement projects such as construction of schools and empowering farmers in areas around the game reserve.

"Visitors are no longer coming here in large numbers,so this is affecting the implementation of a number of projects," said Makwale.

Projects Manager at Fisherman's Rest Peter Mtentha shares a similar scenario

"Infact we have halted all construction works because of funding," said Mtentha.

The Regional Tourism Officer for the southern region Christine Chimangeni urged the players to take on board all other stakeholders on their path to recovery from effects of the pandemic.

"Our appeal to the players is that they must put in place and inclusive approach in their Covid-19 recovery strategies," said Chimangeni.

Among other ways at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic authorities across the globe halted international travels a development that had a direct impact on the tourism business.

Geoffrey Chinawa

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