After the most successful year for tourism in the country’s history, Malawi has been crowned runner-up in The 2013 Safari Awards’ “Best Africa Tourist Board” category – beaten only by Kenya who boast a marketing budget 400 times greater than that of Malawi!
With a growth in tourism numbers, 100 plus UK-based tour operators now pro-actively selling the destination, and over £1 Million worth of editorial coverage in the UK press, it’s been an excellent year for Malawi’s tourism industry.
Responding to the needs of the travel trade, the media and the general public, the Malawi Travel Marketing Consortium (MTMC), supported by UK-based Geo Group, has played a major part in the country’s success and this has now been officially recognised.
Kelly White, marketing director at MTMC said “We’re delighted to have been honoured by such a prestigious award! It reflects not only our efforts but also the willingness of the UK travel trade to hear about vibrant, alternative destinations, as well as Malawi’s growing tourism industry which has delivered plenty of newsworthy innovation and excitement. We have to thank the press for writing such great things about us, too. Malawi’s charm and varied attractions make it a destination easy to get passionate and enthusiastic about.”
In recent times, Malawi has witnessed an increase in the number of quality safari lodges including the likes of the new Mkulumadzi and Tongole, with more to open later this year. Kaya Mawa situated on Likoma Island in Lake Malawi was also awarded third place at the awards for Best Beach Property in Africa – another amazing achievement considering some of the ultra-luxury resorts it was competing against. Lake Malawi’s Nkwichi Lodge was a finalist in not one but two categories, and it took third place in both Best Community Lodge and Best Ecological Safari Property.Malawi is not only gifted with stunning natural beauty and a hugely diverse culture and wildlife, but it also continues to offer more to tourists each year. Many of the national parks and reserves have undergone extensive restocking projects with places such as the Majete Wildlife Reserve now playing host to lions and leopards, as well as offering the full ‘Big 5’ experience.
These trans-locations along with now well-established breeding sanctuaries, mean that even rare and endangered species like rhino are thriving. These have added to Malawi’s existing attractions including Lake Malawi, the beautiful and varied scenery, and the country’s long held reputation for being home to the most welcoming, warm-hearted Africans!
Kelly added “We don’t want Malawi to be just a fashionable destination, the challenge now is to work closely with travel professionals and the media to ensure Malawi stays right up there as a top destination! The media coverage of 2012 alone is bound to getting eager tourists fired up about visit Malawi, so part of our job now is to ensure the trade are ready!”
The Safari Awards
The Safari Awards are the oscars of Safaris. With nominations from over a thousand luxury travel professionals, hundreds of readers of Conde Nast Traveller, Tatler, Brides and Travel Africa Magazine you can rest assured that any safari business nominated for a Safari Award is amongst the best in its genre. Finalists are amongst the top 3% in Africa and the Safari Award Winners are unquestionably the best, their reputation earned through excellence recognised by people who know what they are talking about.