Oct 18, 2017 Last Updated 3:20 PM, Oct 16, 2017
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SAA Dumps Malawi

South African Airways (SAA) is dumping its Malawi route in a bid to stay financially viable.

South African media quotes sources familiar with the plan that the airline will also reduce flights on its profitable Johannesburg-Cape Town route by more than a third.

Speaking to Capital FM, Director of South African Airways in Malawi James Chikaonda reveals that the local office has not been informed of the Airline’s decision to dump the Malawi route.

Representatives of the local Department of Civil Aviation have also not been consulted on the matter as

Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe described the announcement as a ‘blessing in disguise’.

According to the Minister, the move may create business opportunities for other players in the aviation industry, including Malawian airlines.

South African media reports that the airline also plans to reduce flights on its profitable Johannesburg-Cape Town route by more than a third.

It also plans to get rid of at least 10 of the more than 50 planes in its fleet.

The South African flag carrier has been struggling financially and is facing possible liquidation.

SAA currently has huge debts, amounting to over K6.7 Billion, which the SA Government has been struggling to repay.

The African destinations that will get the chop are Blantyre and Lilongwe in Malawi, Brazzaville in the Republic of the Congo, Kigali in Rwanda and Libreville in Gabon.

The development  means that Malawi will now only have Kenyan and Ethiopian airways as the only International Airlines flying into the country.

SAA is the flag carrier of South Africa. Its headquarters are in Airways Park on the grounds of OR Tambo International Airport in Kempton Park, Ekurhuleni, Gauteng.

The Government is expected to spend over MK75 Million to host the first ever Tourism Expo 2017 in Lilongwe.

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Henry Mussa disclosed this in Lilongwe during a press briefing ahead of the event set for August 30 to September 1.

Mussa reveals that the Ministry will also get support from various stakeholders in the tourism industry.

So far, the Ministry has received over MK25 million in pledges for the event which is aimed to promote domestic tourism, where Small and Medium Enterprises-SMEs will also take part.

Mussa acknowledges that SMEs make a huge contribution to the country’s economy, therefore they need to build linkages with the ICT, Banking and Transport sectors to boost tourism.

The main objective of the expo is to provide a platform for the participants to interface and experience first-hand, Malawi’s tourism products.

The participants include international and regional buyers, tourism authorities and ministries responsible for tourism, the academia and the general public.

It is also hoped that the event will help participants share best practices on how to network and package Malawi’s tourism products for increased returns.

The local tourism sector has started attracting more investors with a new Casino on the cards for Malawi.

According to the Malawi Gaming Board chief, the Palms Casino will be opening in Lilongwe, this summer.

Master Maliro disclosed that they have had good reception since they opened the Marina Casino in the capital city.

“Due to the fact that the casino is located in a hotel, we have been able to attract numerous Chinese nationals who like to gamble and these people are the majority of the customers we have at the casino,” Maliro explained.

The Marino Casino was opened in November last year at the Golden Peacock Hotel and has gaming facilities ranging from Baccarat, Blackjack, Roulette as well as Poker games and slot machines.

In the space of three years Malawi has seen at least two gaming companies opening shop in the country.

The development is attributed to efforts by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism in selling Malawi to investors through platforms such as the Investment Forums.

The Boards’ 2016 annual report states that Malawi is expected to have a total of five licensed Casinos.

Such facilities create employment opportunities for locals as they require a big workforce.

The Director of tourism in the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Isaac Katopola, reveals that preparations for the upcoming “Takulandirani” International Tourism expo are at an advanced stage.

According to MANA, the main objective of the expo is to provide a platform for the participants to interface and experience first-hand, Malawi’s tourism products.

The participants include international and regional buyers, tourism authorities and ministries responsible for tourism, the academia and the general public.

It is also hoped that the event will help participants share best practices on how to network and package Malawi’s tourism products for increased returns.

And according to Katopola, all the necessary preparations for the event have been set, and domestic and international participants have confirmed their attendance to the event.

He has since advised those that wish to participate to register quickly as space is limited.

Katopola adds that exhibitions at the expo will give participants a chance to show case their products.

The tourism expo will take place on August 30th to September 1st, at Bingu International Convention Centre in Lilongwe.

Malawi To Host Tourism Fair

Malawi plans to host International Tourism Fairs in Lilongwe this year in a bid to uplift the tourism sector.

The fair, known as Takulandirani International Tourism Expo, is one of the strategies the government has adopted, with the hope of selling the tourism brand on the regional and international market.

It stems from the recent National tourism conference that was also held in the capital city.

Principal Tourism officer in the Department of Tourism Sarah Njanji adds in a statement that the objective is to provide a platform for participants to interface and experience first-hand Malawi’s tourism products.

The statement adds that 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.

They would also share notes on best practices regarding how to network and package Malawi’s tourism products for increased returns.

It is expected to start on the 30th of August until September 1.

The fair will attract the attention of international and regional buyers, exhibitors, tourism authorities, media, the academia, ministries responsible for tourism and the general public.

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