Malawi’s tourism, parks and wildlife minister Wallace Chiume says his ministry has started promoting the development of the eco-lodges for investment by the private and public sectors.
The lodges which are being promoted for investment include Likhubula Lodge, which is earmarked for construction at the foot of the country’s highest mountain, Mulanje Mountain.
The minister says the development plan has recommended the development of a 20-room eco-lodge at the site.
“Conceptual designs for the lodge have been proposed. The project is estimated to cost $1,7-million, including infrastructure costs,” says Chiume. He says his ministry is promoting the Likhubula project and other projects identified in the development plan to local and foreign investors to stimulate market competition in the country’s tourism sector.
Other eco-lodges earmarked for construction include one at Maleri Island, off the shores of Cape Maclear in Lake Malawi National Park, in the southern district of Mangochi, another at Manchewe Falls in the Northern Livingstonia Highlands, and another at Kande Beach in Nkhata Bay.
The Malawian government has launched a massive campaign to develop its tourism sector as it regards tourism as a possible replacement for agriculture as the main contributor to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) since the sales of tobacco, the economic backbone for the country’s agricultural sector, have been under threat by worldwide antismoking lobbying.
One of the ways in which Malawi is developing its tourism sector is the construction of hotels and lodges in areas with potential for tourism growth.
The Malawian government, which plays the role of just promoting investment and not doing business itself, grants concessions to private-sector investors to carry out the investment initiatives.
Tourism contributes 4% to Malawi’s GDP while agriculture accounts for 38% of GDP.