Government calls for  local tourism marketing

By Evance Banda:

Minister of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife, Dr. Michael Usi  Wednesday asked players in the tourism sector to prioritize the development and marketing of domestic tourism, as the sector accounts for 90 percent of the county’s total tourism.

He made the call at the official launch of the first domestic and outbound tourism survey report which took place at Sunbird Mount Soche in Blantyre.

The survey was conducted by National Statistical Office in conjunction with the Department of Tourism.

“There is a gap in our marketing in regards to domestic tourism and this is reflected in the results of this study. We need to improve our messaging and do more to encourage domestic tourism as it is a key driver of the sector.

“International tourism is currently struggling because of the Covid-19 pandemic and domestic tourism is cushioning the industry and can play a crucial role in the economic recovery,” Usi added.

The Acting Secretary for Tourism, Culture, and Wildlife, George Masinga pointed that lack of quantitative data of the tourism industry led to uninformed decision-making that affected the growth of the industry.

“Tourism sector has the potential to contribute more to the national development and the results from this study will go a long way in helping stakeholders in strategic planning of various initiatives for the growth of the industry,” he said.

Commissioner for Statistics at the National Statistical Office, Mercy Kanyuka said that the main objective of the study was to collect and provide data that would be used in the decision-making process in the tourism industry.

“Currently the country is developing its Domestic Tourism Marketing Strategy and as such the Domestic and Outbound Tourism survey comes at an opportune time when the key findings of the survey will be used to finalize the strategy. Further, the findings will also contribute to the development of Tourism Satellite,”  she said.

The Domestic and Outbound Tourism Survey was conducted in all districts of the country from September to December 2020 with funding from African Development Bank and it collected data for 2019.

Among key findings of the study, domestic trips amounted to a total expenditure of K204.4 billion in contrast toK126.4 billion for outbound trips.

On the other hand same-day domestic trips; visiting friends and relatives at 29.8 percent while the main purpose of same-day outbound trips was trading at 30.9 percent.

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