Blantyre Hotels commences construction of new hotel in Lilongwe

By Wahard Betha

Hospitality Group Blantyre Hotels Plc has announced that construction works for its Lilongwe Hotel are commencing this month at the Lilongwe Golf Club following finalization of an agreement by its special purpose vehicle Oasis Hospitality Limited and the main contractor for the project.

In a summary of interim consolidated and separate financial statements for the six months ended June 30, 2022, Blantyre Hotels Plc explains that the project is part of its growth strategy through expansion of its portfolio by having another hotel operation to its business in Lilongwe.

The statement says the construction site was chosen to target both international and local business travelers and tourists.

It says: “This growth strategy is in line with the vision of the country where tourism is listed as one of the priority areas in the national development agenda, Malawi 2063.”

“The City of Lilongwe was chosen because of its central location and linkages to various parts of the country for international visitors.”

“The upgrading of road infrastructure currently in progress in Lilongwe will enhance the business of the hotel.”

The hotel will be operated under a long term management agreement with a leading widely known luxury hotel management company Marriott International under the brand name Protea Hotel by Marriott, and the design brief is being developed in line with Marriott International standards.

In Malawi, the month of September was designated National Tourism Month to create awareness on tourism and its benefits to the local economy.

Commenting in a Press Statement on World Tourism Day which falls on September 27, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife Michael Usi says this year’s commemoration is being celebrated under the theme ‘Rethinking Tourism’ with focus on the recovery of the sector from the pandemic of covid-19.

Usi also says the theme presents a paradigm shift in tourism to ensure that the benefits of tourism are realized and enjoyed widely and fairly with a focus on the rural based tourism resources to create a more sustainable, inclusive and resilient sector.

He says: “In accordance with this theme and in line with the Domestic Tourism Marketing Strategy, I would like to take this opportunity to encourage fellow Malawians to utilize tourism facilities and attractions within our national boundaries.”

“You will be interested to note that as Malawians we have the capability to travel and spend within the country following the Malawi Domestic Tourism Survey Report by National Statistical Office in 2021.”

“This report indicated that Malawians on average account for nearly 94% of all outbound expenditures resulting from travelling from Malawi to other countries as compared to 6% for residents yet residents utilize our attractions more than we do.”

According to the report, 42% of Malawians travel to visit friends and relatives and only 1.9% travel for recreation.

Usi says now it is the time the country turned tables so that more people travelling to visit family and friends can also visit nearby attractions in their locations.

Tourism attraction centres help to create and sustain jobs and other related opportunities including improving livelihoods of local communities as there is support and maintenance of local services.

The sector is also a catalyst for attracting foreign exchange hence increasing domestic spending.  

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