The Ministry of Industry Trade and Tourism says the 500km Lake Malawi Sailing Marathon is raising the country’s profile.
Deputy Director of Tourism responsible for marketing in the Ministry of Industry Trade and Tourism, Sausten Lingwalanya, made the remarks on Friday at the end of the six day sailing marathon which started from Cape Maclear in Mangochi to Chintheche in Nkhatabay.
Lingwalanya said the marathon is one of the annual key activities for the country’s tourism which is used to showcase Malawi as one of the world’s best tourist destinations.
“The event is growing hence raising our country’s profile as a sporting event destination,” Lingwalanya said.
In his remarks, marketing Manager for Standard Bank, Kojo Larbi said his bank decided to support the event considering that tourism is an industry on its own which contributes to the operations of the bank and the country’s economic growth.
“We committed K3 million towards this competition because Malawi’s tourism is the generator of forex which is good for the country’s economic growth,” Larbi said.
Commenting on this year’s overall event management, the chairperson of the Marathon organising committee, Bouke Bijl, said the competition is continuing to grow bigger and better.
“Standard Bank should be commended because they understand that this is an economic and social gathering that touches so many communities in a range of ways.
“The increase in number of international participating teams is a clear manifestation of growth of the marathon, it is a 500 kilometre race which makes it so unique being the longest stretch in sailing marathons,” Bijl said.
The Marathon was divided into two categories, which is Non-spinnaker class skipper and Spinnaker class skipper.
This year’s Lake Malawi Sailing Marathon drew a total of twenty-four teams. Two teams failed to finish while the rest made it to finishing point.
Zimbabwe, Tanzania, and South Africa and the hosts Malawi participated in the marathon.
The lake sailing marathon was founded by a group of sailors and provides an opportunity for both local and foreign sailors to experience Lake Malawi and its whole blue economy through casual sport.