Speaking at the opening ceremony on Saturday, Department of Tourism Director of Finance and Administration Charles Banda said local communities would benefit from the cultural interaction and exposure from the spectators who travel by road in support of the event and further support their small scale businesses.
He stated that the ministry considers the event as one of the major international events on the tourism calendar offering numerous benefits but also to the local communities in the host lakeshore districts.
“The Ministry is proud to host the event because it offers the country an opportunity to showcase Malawi as a reputable tourism destination especially in the niche markets of adventure and sport tourism,” he explained.
Banda further said Government also recognizes the event for its charity work through donations to the local communities.
“This is not just an adventurous event but also a charity event where communities benefit from the proceeds of the marathon. This gesture is much appreciated,” he said.
Banda then revealed that the Ministry contributed towards the participation fees for some local teams to encourage local sailors to take part in the competition.
“We want to encourage local participation and ensure that those with zeal and talent are not denied of this opportunity to grow their experiences in the event,” he pointed out.
16 teams, nine from Malawi and seven from South Africa, Germany, Fiji, Holland and Zimbabwe are participating in this year’s Marathon.
This year’s event is being sponsored by Energem, Standard Bank, Airlink, ALMEIDA Transport, Shoprite, SkyBand, Airtel, Nkhanga and Malawian Airlines among others.