The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has listed and awarded Malawi with a safe travels stamp, recognising the country as one of the safest tourism destinations in the world.
The safe travels stamp enables travellers to recognise destinations and companies that have implemented protocols aligned with the safe travels protocols designed by WTTC together with members and health experts, among others.
In a statement, Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife director of tourism Alice Magombo said the stamp is an endorsement of the guidelines designed to restore confidence among tourists.
The guidelines, she said, will also align the private sector behind common standards to ensure the safety of its workforce and travellers as the tourism sector shifts to a new normal.
Magombo said as the tourism sector begins to recover from the devastating impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, the safe travels stamp will instill confidence in travellers to the country.
She said: “The ministry through the Department of Tourism will, therefore, roll out the enforcement of these global standards throughout the sector.
“Those operators that will meet the standards will be awarded the stamp as an endorsement of their adherence to these standards.”
Magombo said the issuance of the stamp is an indication of the level of commitment that government has in ensuring that the safety and hygiene of travellers is a top priority.
On his part, Malawi Tourism Council (MTC)board chairperson Jones Malili said in a written response that as private sector players, they are excited with the development and commended government’s commitment to attain the safe travel stamp.
“MTC feels this is the first step to assure the world that Malawi is a safe destination and ready to reopen to travel by ensuring that global standards and protocols for safety, health and security of travellers and workforce in the travel and tourism sector are in place,” he said.
Travel safety of tourists is among key factors that attract tourists visitation and investment considerations.
In addition to the safe travel protocols, WTTC has partnered Institution of Occupational Safety and Health to release a number of guidelines to enable businesses within the travel and tourism sector to return to work safely.
The tourism sector, which contributes about seven percent to the gross domestic product, is one of the priority sectors for the economy’s growth.