+27 71 448 3496

Malawi expects tourism boom

Share Article
Malawi expects tourism boom
Lake Malawi remains a favourite destination for tourists to Malawi. Image credit: Leon Louw for WhyAfrica

Malawi expects tourism boom

Malawi expects tourism boom

Malawi is attracting more and more international tourists, and the trend is expected to continue in 2024.

By Leon Louw, owner of WhyAfrica and editor of the WhyAfrica magazine

After tobacco and tea, tourism is the third largest source of foreign exchange in this landlocked southern African country. Despite positive indicators that the number of international visitors to the country is on a steady increase year on year, the sector still performs below its true potential.

The country’s picturesque landscapes, top-class national parks, the tranquillity of Lake Malawi, and Malawi’s diverse and vibrant cultures provide the country with exceptional tourism assets few other African countries can compete with.

What constrains tourism growth?   

The factors that hamper tourism growth in Malawi, are all related to several other sectors. Chief among these are accessibility and the number of direct flights to the country’s two main cities, Lilongwe and Blantyre.

According to Malawi’s President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, government is addressing all the concerns and challenges.

“We are in the process of designing a Malawi Flight Plan for increased air access.

“At the same time, we recently concluded three Bilateral Air Service Agreements with Mozambique, Uganda, and Kuwait to introduce direct flights into Malawi, while talks with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Mauritius, and Nigeria to do the same are in progress,” says President Chakwera.

In February, President Chakwera’s administration gazetted the visa waiver program that he first announced in 2023. The visa waiver program exempts travellers from 79 countries and territories from paying visa fees.

“I expect our Ministry of Foreign Affairs to use this waiver to begin negotiating with those countries and territories for more friendly visa terms for Malawians traveling there as a way of increasing our access to international markets for wealth creation as well,” says President Chakwera.

Developing infrastructure  

Another key ingredient for wealth creation through tourism is the development of the needed infrastructure and services.

“It is in pursuit of this goal that we have completed the acquisition of 52.7 hectares of beach land in T/A Maganga, Salima, for the Salima Integrated Hotel and Resort, and we have already invited private sector players to invest in the development of facilities and services through a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement,” says President Chakwera.

“We have also continued to engage with 26 tourism enterprises and hospitality industry players to offer incentives for the development of special packages for Malawians to boost local tourism as part of efforts to implement the Domestic Tourism Marketing Strategy.

“As a result of all these efforts, international arrivals have increased by about 64% from 2021, reaching approximately 708,000 in 2022, and we expect a tourism boom following the interventions we have put in place more recently.

“But as we prepare for that boom, we must understand that tourism involves every citizen as a marketer for the country, and so political and community leaders have a responsibility to lead by example in how they speak about Malawi to outsiders or on international platforms,” says President Chakwera.

WhyAfrica visited Lilongwe, Salima and Cape Maclear in 2023 as part of the 2023 WhyAfrica Road Trip. This year we will traverse the country from south to north on our way to Tanzania.

Last year we did some research in Senga Bay as part of the trip. This is Senga Bay beach at sunset:

WhyAfrica’s sister company Endorphin Expeditions, a travel consultancy, tour planning and tour operator, will undertake its first expedition to Malawi in July 2025. Endorphin Expeditions does overland group tours across southern, central, and east Africa. For more information head to their website:   https://endorphinexpeditions.co.za/

Malawi expects tourism boom

Malawi expects tourism boom

WhyAfrica provides on the ground information and business intelligence about the sustainable utilisation and responsible extraction of natural resources in Africa, and can assist your company through:  

  1. Membership:
  • WhyAfrica’s membership offers great business insights to you, your company, and clients.
  • Amongst many other benefits, we will publish editorial content about you or your company on the WhyAfrica online platform and on all WhyAfrica’s social media pages – the annual fee is R6,500 and you can find out more or subscribe here: https://www.whyafrica.co.za/product/membership/ 
  1. Sponsorship:
  • WhyAfrica’s Road Trip takes place annually in July and August. During our Road Trip we aim to visit more than 30 project sites. Sponsoring the Road Trip, or to be a WhyAfrica member, gives you unparalleled insight into the business environment of the countries that we travel to and the project sites we visit.
  • To be a member or sponsor allows you access to invaluable, on the ground, business intelligence and a great marketing opportunity for all companies doing business in Africa.
  • The main aim of our Road Trips is to promote Africa as an investment destination and to showcase Africa’s greatest companies, and projects to our large global audience, which includes a list of potential investors, venture capitalists and serial entrepreneurs.
  • To view the photos of this year’s Southern Africa Road Trip click on the gallery link or follow our Instagram account at why.africa https://www.whyafrica.co.za/road-trips/whyafrica-road-trips/. 
  1. Advertising:
  • We publish daily online articles on our WhyAfrica platform and post them on social media every day. Our combined online reach is more than 45,000. In-article banner ads are highly successful advertising tools as is advertising space on our website.
  • In addition to our bi-weekly newsletters, we publish two printed- and two interactive digital magazines per year. The printed magazines are distributed at major events and conferences throughout the year, and also on our WhyAfrica Road trips.
  • Digital magazines are e-mailed to all our subscribers and shared on our social media platforms. A copy of the latest edition is automatically attached to all our outgoing e-mails.
  • WhyAfrica magazines provide great marketing opportunities. There are also in-article and on-line advertising opportunities at exceptional rates. Contact me for more information on leon@whyafrica.co.za or give me a call.
  • To subscribe to WhyAfrica’s free newsletters and magazines click on the link and register: https://www.whyafrica.co.za/subscribe/  
  1. 4. Partnerships
  • Maximise your African exposure and link with our large business network through becoming one of only 10 WhyAfrica partners. We have only five prime partnership positions left for 2023, so contact me at leon@whyafrica.co.za to get the best deal. 

Malawi expects tourism boom

Share Article


AgricultureEnvironmental Management & Climate ChangeEnergyESGInfrastructureMiningPolitical EconomyTourism and ConservationWater Management