AS the world celebrates the World Tourism Day today under the theme, "Tourism and sustainable energy, powering sustainable development", It is my humble honour to issue a statement on behalf of the Mzuzu University Tourism Students Association, (MUTSA).
I wish to express our great pleasure to be part of the World Tourism Day Celebrations yet again in 2012 and our status as a force in national tourism and as pioneers in being the first tertiary education institution training experts of the tourism industry in Malawi at a degree level. We are so privileged to have produced the best groups of tourism professionals who are already making recommendable changes in this industry and even in renewable energy sources such as adoption of solar, through the help from the Renewable energy department of Mzuzu university in which we are number one in the country again in that area as an institution.
This privilege to host an event of such great interest elicits a strong sense of commitment on our part as a faculty to ensuring that this forum—an opportunity to meet and reflect—enjoys a high level of success corresponding to the importance of this celebration. We are persuaded that it will be a good occasion to share our experience and knowledge in two fields, tourism and sustainability, that are very important for the development and well-being of our peoples as a nation.
For our Government, the tourism sector must constitute a real priority because it is an important asset for the creation of wealth and employment, and ultimately, for our economic recovery as we are in an economic fix at the moment. Tourism accounts for 10.2% of GDP and 11% of jobs, and performs with great dynamism and strength even in times of calamity. We therefore urge the government to design a Comprehensive Tourism Plan with the conformity and involvement of all actors, both public and private, that will promote a more favourable environment for the development and consolidation of the tourism sector which has been overdue for long.
We are also very happy to have the support of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture in our programme of study and in an occasion like this one. This cooperation makes for very fluid and fruitful collaboration that, I am convinced, will continue for a long time to come. Cooperation is key in order to emerge from this deep crisis, and our relationship with the ministry is a good example in this regard. We thank the ministry for this gesture.
Lastly, I wish to welcome you to our country Malawi, (for those who read this online) where I hope you will also have some time to enjoy our considerable natural and cultural heritage. We are very excited about the celebration of WTD today on 27 September, which we have organized in collaboration with the Ministry here at Mzuzu University and all other places where celebrations of this kind are happening. It is our hope that this date will constitute another step towards the recognition of the tourism sector's crucial economic and social contribution and the importance of renewable energy for social, economic and environmental sustainability.
In absentia, let me Wish all of you a wonderful day on behalf of the Level 4 students whom some of you are yet to meet in the next academic year.
Ladies and gentlemen, Enjoy the rest of the evening.
Thanks a lot.
Denni S. Imaan