By Wahard Betha
After three-year hiatus due to Covid-19 pandemic, Malawi’s Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife has announced that it will host the fourth Takulandilani Malawi International Tourism Exposition (MITE) from April 26 to 27 this year at Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe.
The Ministry’s Public Relations Officer Simon Mbvundula said in an interview that the hosting of the international tourism fair will assist the country to market its tourism brand.
Mbvundula said: “A tourism fair brings buyers and sellers together in one place and facilitates face to face meetings and conclusion of deals.”
“It provides a cost effective platform for local operators who might not have had the chance to transact business to come face to face with international buyers.”
“Hosting of buyers from all over the world also provides an opportunity for the international and regional buyers to sample and experience the destination.”
“This provides them an invaluable opportunity to experience what their clients would experience when they visit the destination and also equip them to better appreciate and manage problems their clients would meet when they visit the destination.”
Mbvundula also said the tourism fair brings with it both international and regional media who collect and write positive stories about the destination and also investment and trade opportunities the country has on offer to the world.
The Ministry plans to host 12 international travel writers and documentary producers who will be in the country to collect Malawi Tourism content for their respective media houses that will be utilized to generate Malawi tourism visibility targeted towards consumers in the source markets.
Mbvundula said: “Those that visit the country also become automatic tourism ambassadors especially when they are satisfied and have enjoyed their stay.”
“They are also likely to recommend the destination to others when they go back home and are also likely to come back on holiday with their families.”
“Holding of a tourism fair creates huge business opportunities for the local population in the areas of Events Management, Stand Construction, Furniture, Flower and Equipment Hire, Transportation, Printing, Security and a host of their opportunities.”
Mbvundula stressed that the exposition is not only targeting exhibitors from the core tourism sector but also related service providers in various sectors.
This year the Ministry is reviewing the exhibition fees to ensure that a lot of players are given a chance to participate in the expo.
He said: “Therefore, in addition to accommodation units, tour operators, travel agents, airlines, car hire companies, tourism training institutions, we also target institutions that offer direct or indirect support to the tourism and hospitality sector to exhibit.
“It is not in our best interest to bar would be participants due to high exhibition fees. The fees are being reviewed to reflect the economic reality on the ground while ensuring that local exhibitors are not left behind.”
The 2023 Takulandilani expo will be proceeded by a number of activities including a public lecture themed ‘The value of tourism business; building national consciousness’ to take place on March 8, 2023.