Malawi in Africa waives visa for 79 countries in tourism push
By eliminating visa requirements for 79 key source markets globally, Malawi in Africa boosts tourism and signals that it is open for business
Tourism is the third-largest source of foreign currency in the impoverished southern African nation, after tobacco and tea -- but the sector is underperforming, Chakwera, said.
"Chief among the factors contributing to this is our country's accessibility, which is why we have implemented the visa waiver program," he added.
The United States, Britain, France, China, Russia and members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), a regional bloc, are among the countries benefiting from the exemption.
Tourism Minister Vera Kamtukule told AFP that onerous visa requirements had been throttling the country's potential -- and caused complaints.
"Our strategy is to attract investments in agriculture, tourism, and mining," Kamtukule said.
"By eliminating visa requirements for our key source markets globally, we are signalling that Malawi is open for business."
Home to abundant wildlife, including elephants, hippos and crocodiles, the landlocked nation is partially covered by the waters of Lake Malawi, Africa's third-largest freshwater lake.
Renowned for its crystal-clear waters, sandy beaches and diverse marine life, the lake is listed as a World Heritage site by UN culture agency UNESCO.