“People who live around Kasungu National Park depend on tourism and agriculture. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic killed tourism and disrupted rural markets. It was a tragedy for many local people.” These observations on the effects of the pandemic around Kasungu National Park in Malawi by Malidadi Langa, the chair of the Kasungu Wildlife Conservation for Community Development Association (KAWICCODA), were mirrored elsewhere in the country and on the African continent as travel restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 disrupted local and international tourism and trade in 2020 and 2021. “Even before COVID-19, tourism wasn’t a silver bullet for poverty reduction. It’s not like these communities were suddenly wealthy from tourism. Many were already struggling,” said Langa, explaining that the small-scale operators participating in the tourism value chain before the pandemic didn’t have the savings to weather the effects of prolonged business interruptions. “The impact was widespread. People who sell curios, supply produce, and work in lodges suddenly had no income, sometimes not even to buy food for that day. There were tour guides who had to become fishermen. Men and women were cutting trees for charcoal. People were desperate,” said Brighten Ndawala from the Mangochi–Salima Lake Park Association (MASALAPA). The association helps manage the sharing of revenues generated by Lake Malawi National Park with communities living within the park boundaries. “Eating Our Assets” Franciwell Phiri, Managing Director at Small Steps Adventure Tours in Malawi, said, “We almost collapsed as a business. From 10 staff, we were left with three guides who…
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The post Funds Needed to Bolster Tourism Recovery in Malawi appeared first on Nomad Africa Magazine | Celebrating the world’s richest continent.
Source: Nomad Africa Magazine