Malawi has now received the Safe Travels Stamp of approval from the World Travel & Tourism Council in recognition of its new national Health & Safety protocols for tourism. The implementation of these protocols assures the safety and well-being of its international visitors – giving them the confidence to travel to and around the Warm Heart of Africa.
Malawi is known for its friendly people, beautiful country and its remarkable variety of nature-based tourism experiences: the wildlife, the scenery and Lake Malawi. It has become the latest in a remarkable total of 250 destinations around the world to have been awarded the Safe Travels Stamp since its launch by WTTC in the second half of 2020. Meeting the accepted and established global standard in Health & Safety that allow tourism to re-start, brings Malawi in line with key tourism destination around the world.
This is a wonderful achievement for this small African destination.
The Safe Travels stamp is the world’s first global safety & hygiene stamp for travel & tourism, designed specifically to address COVID-19 and similar outbreaks. It was developed to help restore confidence in travellers and aims to revive the global Travel & Tourism sector which has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic. WTTC, which represents the global Travel & Tourism private sector, created the Safe Travels stamp to enable both business and leisure travellers to distinguish destinations around the world which have adopted health and hygiene global standardised protocols – so they can experience ‘Safe Travels’. These worldwide measures provide consistency and guidance to travel providers and travellers about the necessary new approach to health, hygiene, deep cleansing and physical distancing.
The WTTC Safe Travels Protocols have received the backing of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and were developed in collaboration with leading industry associations and international organisations, taking into account current guidelines of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC).
Malawi’s own robust guidelines were developed by the Malawi Department of Tourism, through a process of engagement with the Malawi Tourism Council and the Malawi Ministry of Health.
Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO, said: “We are delighted to see our Safe Travels Stamp is still growing at a rapid rate and is being adopted by destinations from all corners of the world. Reaching the incredible milestone of 250 destinations around the world now proudly holding our Safe Travels stamp, is testimony to the hard work which has been put in to make the stamp work for both destinations and holidaymakers. As the global vaccine rollout picks up pace and with the restrictions expected to be relaxed over the coming weeks, we believe the stamp will prove a key component of destination recovery and restoring consumer confidence. The success of the stamp shows the importance of global coordination to help rebuild and revive the international Travel & Tourism sector. Destinations with the stamp will benefit from travellers being able to recognise the destinations which have adopted the global protocols, encouraging the return of ‘Safe Travels’ around the world. We are finally beginning to step into the new normal of a post-COVID world, and we are proud to be leading the way for globally coordinated efforts in recovery.”
Malawi is a genuine ‘hidden gem’ for tourism but one that had been emerging as perhaps one of the most complete destinations in Africa. With a number of attributes making it ideal for post-lockdown travel, it is anticipated that it’s trajectory of growth will now be re-established. Malawi always had stunning landscapes, amazing beaches and the friendliest people in the world. Recent efforts have seen it undergo a remarkable wildlife transformation now also giving it high quality safari experiences. Malawi has no crowds of tourists & spacious accommodation, and most of its attractions are nature-based and enjoyed in the open air (even the cultural interactions are outdoors). As a small country that offers all of Africa’s experiences in one place, there is no need for long journeys cooped up in small vehicles or even any unnecessary border crossings (with their crowds, tests and procedures). Add to that the fact that all of Malawi’s tourism operators support their local communities and conservation efforts and it’s clear to see that Malawi really is the perfect place to visit and spend that ‘tourism dollar’ well, when international tourism re-starts.
Kelly White, representative the Malawi Travel Marketing Consortium, welcomed the award of the Stamp, saying “In obtaining the WTTC Safe Travels Stamp, Malawi is showing the world that it is taking the well-being of its tourists very seriously and doing all that it can to ensure they can visit safely. Despite a rise in early 2021, Malawi’s COVID case numbers remain relatively low and it has now received its first set of vaccines. Its airports are open to international visitors. As vaccines roll out around the world, the Warm Heart of Africa is now very well placed to start welcoming its visitors back as soon as they are able to travel again!”
Following the lifting of its Covid-related travel restrictions, Malawi has seen a six-fold uplift in interest from international volunteers seeking to support wildlife conservation efforts.
Lilongwe Wildlife Trust (LWT), a non-profit conservation organisation that works to protect Malawi’s wildlife and reserves, has released their Impact Report for 2021-2022. This report showcases the facts and figures from a really successful year for the Trust.
This month the Tongole Wilderness Retreat team is delighted to share the news that more wildlife is being translocated to Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve this July.