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Bushiri’s Crossover Ceremony exposes need for construction of more hotels in Lilongwe

December 31, 2023 / Christopher Jimu Chegutu
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Shortage of decent accommodation in Lilongwe due to drastic increase in the number of foreign tourists that have travelled to the City mainly to attend the Crossover crusade presided over by renowned prophet Shepherd Bushiri of the Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) on December 31, 2023 has exposed the need for construction of more hotels in the Capital City.

Sunbird Hotels Marketing Manager Temwa Kanjadza confirmed that the number of visitors in the Group’s hotels in Lilongwe has soared as many foreigners have entered Lilongwe to attend Crossover ceremonies for ECG, Glorious Light International of Bishop Abraham Simama and Good News Ministry of Prophet Gondwe, among others.

Said Kanjadza.”It is true we have seen an upsurge in the number of occupants in our two hotels in Lilongwe (Sunbird Capital and Lilongwe). Though other visitors are merely on holiday this being a festive season, I know some are also here because of the overnight crusades as religious tourists and we are happy with that.”

Kanjadza, however, could not be drawn to disclose the exact number of foreign occupants in the two hotels saying it is confidential.

ECG Public Relations Officer Aubrey Kusakala said they have received visitors from as far as the USA, Australia, Germany, UK, Canada, Nigeria, South Africa. Zambia and Zimbabwe, just to mention a few.

”We are expecting to have over 15,000 international visitors. These visitors have filled up most of the lodges and hotels in Mponela, Dowa and Lilongwe. Some are in private homes while those travelling by bus will arrive on the 31st and will return soon after the Crossover on January 1, 2024, which is dubbed Wealth Transfer,” said Kusakala.

Mponela has seen an increase in the number of tourism establishments with its close proximity to the city of Lilongwe an added advantage.

The town has hotels such as Linde, Kalipano and Chikho plus a good number of beautiful lodges.

Kusakala was also hopeful that after attending the church service, the visitors will be able to go to tourism attractions such as Lake Malawi, the crocodile farm and Start Grant cichlids fishery in Salima, Mulanje Mountain, Kalipano Hotel in Dowa, Ku Chawe Inn, as well as tea estates in  in Thyolo and Mulanje, and Mulanje Mountain.

Founder of Glorious Light International Church Bishop Abraham Simama explained to  Mining and Review that there are also expecting many visitors coming from neighbouring countries with some coming from as far as Nigeria.

“This year’s Crossover will be one of the best and we are expecting a huge number of visitors. We just praise God for his grace which has taken us this far. From Nigeria we will have Prophetes Yinka and Anne who were inspired by the late Prophet TB Joshua who also mentored me,” said Simama who is also owner of Simama Hotel.

Glorius Light International Pastor Salim Chankhwantha said his church will receive many visitors from Zambia, Mozambique, Namibia and Tanzania to attend the crossover.

Good News Ministries of Prophet Gondwe has also not been left behind as it is receiving visitors who normally follow church proceedings on Facebook, according to the Church administrator Benson Katsekela and church member Grace Alli.

Minister of tourism Vera Kamtukule said she is very much excited with the increased number of people coming to Malawi as the year is coming to an end.

She said the development has come at the right time when the country is working hard to position itself as the prime destination for tourists in this part of Africa.

Said Kamtukule: ”As a Minister I am very happy that we are able to attract tourists. This shows that we are on the right track. There are several tourism areas we can attract people into such as sports, music as well as religion. I would love to see many visitors coming even during Easter Holidays.”

The Minister said she will give all the necessary support to players in the tourism sector so that visitors should always feel the warm heart of Africa whenever they are in Malawi.

“When these visitors come, whether for religious purposes or otherwise they will also visit places of attraction and spend some forex. Malawi is beautiful and we must all play our roles to market this country,” said Kantukule who disclosed that she is aware of 15,000 visitors coming to attend the ECG Crossover.

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