Visa free to promote tourism sector-Kamtukule

By Beatrice Bangula

Minister of Tourism, Vera Kamtukule, has emphasised on the need of letting some of the countries visit Malawi without paying for a visa.

Kamtukule said this during a public lecture held at Amaryllis Hotel in Blantyre under the theme: “Unlocking Malawi’s hidden Tourism potential.”

She said some of these countries are key sources of markets for Malawian products while others are upcoming markets for tourism and allowing some of the countries visa free to Malawi will attract many tourists in the country which will, in turn, contribute to the country’s economic growth.


“People just focus on the amount of money paid for visas but are not aware that our country benefits more because when these nationals visit Malawi; they sleep in our hotels, buy our food, use our water, electricity, do shopping, they go to our hospitals and all sorts of activities required during their stay  bring forex to the country,” she said.

Chief Executive Officer for Press Corporation, Ronald Mangani, said in terms of promoting and advancing integration, visa free is a move in the right direction.

“There will be a direct benefit to the country’s tourism sector, but the larger benefit to the economy will be the indirect benefit as visitors to Malawi will demand other goods and services on account of such visits.” Mangani said.

He added that it is critical that the country should develop its tourism sector and create a competitive advantage, building on its unique endowment of natural and other resources.

“Beyond this, it would even be better if the removal of visa requirements could be bilaterally reciprocal, so that Malawians should also enjoy the visa free status to the beneficiary countries of this domestic policy initiative,” Mangani said.

One of the attendees, Shadreck Changalume, said boosting tourism in Malawi is not only dependent on the visa regime noting that there are many tourist sites in Malawi where people both local and foreigners visit without paying any fee and that this is in sharp contrast to what is obtained elsewhere.

“In Zambia or Zimbabwe when people visit the Victoria Falls, for example; they pay a certain fee, that’s for both local and foreigners and has nothing to do with the visa payment,” Changalume said.

The public lecture attracted business leaders, associates and various stakeholders in the tourism industry.

Other officials who graced the occasion included Minister of Information and Digitalisation, Moses Kunkuyu and the Moroccocan Ambassador to Malawi, Abdelkader Naji.