By Kondwani Munthali – Malawi High Commission, London
The World Travel Market (WTM), one of global largest travel shows has recognised Malawi’s efforts in developing sports tourism, highlighting the Orbis Challenge as the “the most intriguing triathlon”.
The official daily bulletin of the World Travel Market 2018, published the Malawi Sports Tourism as having started, saying the country is set to use “its topography as the ideal setting for adventure and endurance events.”
The two new sports tourism events are the International Impact Marathon series and the Orbis Challenge, which is described as the “most intriguing of all” type of triathlon, with its inaugural event being attended by the British double-Olympic champion Dame Kelly Homes alongside 20 team mates.
“Participants visited local initiatives in between a 15 mile run up Mulanje, a 34-mile cycle across the Zomba Plateau, and a 12-mile kayak on Lake Malawi,” reads the bulletin which encourages visitors to the show to drop at the Malawi stand and get more details on the events.
The bulletin which circulates everyday is one of prime advertising spaces at the global event and the recognition means Malawi visibility at the show is enhanced as evidenced by increased traffic on the second day of the three-day show, with many operators asking for opportunities to package Malawi’s latest tourism offer.
“The Mount Mulanje Porters Race, the Lake Malawi Sailing Marathon and the Luwawa International Mountain Bike Race are some of the more prestigious events and the two new fixtures have joined the calendar this year,” writes the bulletin.
The WTM says the natural backdrop with high peaks and plateaux, rivers and valleys and the celebrated Lake Malawi offer “a natural stadium for a variety of sports activities” that can benefit tourists as much as athletes.
Deputy Director for Tourism (Marketing) SostenLingwalanya said the inclusion in the bulletin was a timely boost to the Malawi team at the travel as it shows the global tourism industry was paying attention to Malawi’s unique offers to travellers.
The WTM will run from 5th to 7th of November, 2018 and Malawi is among the countries the BBC will feature in its special series about the show.