Malawi has been ranked 10th globally on 2018 list of the hottest tourism destinations, Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Henry Mussa disclosed this Wednesday.

He said this after a familiarization tour of the Department of Tourism and Trade in Lilongwe.

Mussa described the world ranking of Malawi as a milestone in boosting the country’s tourism as a preferred destination for both local and international tourists.

“This talks volumes on what our tourism sector has undergone in the past years. We need to do more so that we should attract more tourists and boost our foreign earnings in the process,” the Minister explained.

He said Malawi is the third best destination country for tourism in Africa and that this gives the department encouragement to surge ahead in the utilization of the potential tourism sites that are available.

Mussa said government has increased its budgetary allocation to the sector for its continued development.

“Government has placed tourism sector as a key pillar in the Malawi Development Strategy (MDS) III in the development process of the country. We are encouraging rebranding our tourism potential so that it should have value on world market,” he pointed out.

The Minister said apart from wooing international tourists, there is need to promote local tourism and enable Malawians visit sites like Nyika plateau, Kasungu National Park, Liwonde and Nkhotakota Game Reserves, Lake Malawi, Mulanje Mountain just to mention a few.

Mussa pointed out that government is committed to ensuring that all access road to all tourism destinations are improved for the better so that tourists should have easy access to these destinations all year round.

He said the rehabilitation and expansion of Kamuzu and Chileka International Airports are in line with government’s goal of boosting the tourism sector.

Mussa viewed that once the airports are upgraded to the required international standards, the country would stand a better chance to have more airlines coming into the country directly.

A Lilongwe resident, Francis Nsamala said Malawians need to be encouraged to patronize tourism sites and enjoy them freely in the country.

He appealed to the government to deliberately put up a policy whereby local tourism should be promoted among Malawians.

“Most people are discouraged to patronize local tourism sites because of exorbitant prices being offered by different tourism operators in the country. We need to explore more ways on how this could be achieved,” Nsamala viewed.

He pointed out of the need for the department of tourism to intensify inspection particularly in tourism establishments in order to promote the expected standards.