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Identification of tourism developmental success factors: Benchmarking the Malawi tourism industryThis thesis explores the potential development of, and model for, tourism on Lake Malawi. It builds upon the historic associations attached to colonisation and how this led to the acceptance, for 30 years, of Western based models in formulating strategic plans for tourism development in Malawi. The study confirms that Lake Malawi has development potential to compete with existing successful destinations; both in the African region and the global tourism market. The thesis concentrates upon the power relationships between the current stakeholders involved in the development process and the potential mechanisms available to involve local people more in the heritage tourism dynamic. The study explores the concepts of historic tourism development within Malawi and assess the success or failure of those strategies within the context of sustainability. The primary research involved the local population within two areas on Lake Malawi, and the government employees responsible for the planning process. The literature pointed to there being a gap between theory and practice within Malawi. The study confirms the potential in the region by analysis of similar locations and their stages within the development process. The primary research confirmed the need to identify a successful model that could be adapted for the Lake Malawi. These are then adapted to country branding suggested for Malawi, as a basis for development models influenced by the branding imperative, which then concludes the circular argument built from the destination analysis.