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‘Domestic tourism data hard to get’

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By Patience Lunda Contributor:

KATOPOLA— This affects budgeting

Capital Hill has admitted it is facing challenges to get data on the volume of domestic tourism.

This comes at time the country is celebrating tourism month which was launched on September 4, 2018 under the theme “Tourism and the Digital Transformation”.

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Director of Tourism, Isaac Katopola, said his department introduced occupancy statistics as a way of capturing domestic data but the system is proving to be a challenge.

“We asked tourism operators to correct information about how long and how much local tourists have spent at a place but the greatest challenge is lack of cooperation from operators since they think occupancy statistics is a measure of tax hunting.

Tourism operators are very instrumental in providing figures and facts used for measure domestic tourism and we appeal to the private sector to provide us with the correct information,” he said.

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Katopola said failure to account for domestic tourism affects the overall contribution of the tourism sector to the country’s economy as statistics are under reported.

“Currently, statistics indicate that tourism is contributing seven percent which might not be true because we do not account for domestic tourism and this has made it hard to defend the budget for tourism because of incorrect statistics,” Katopola said.

Government has identified tourism among key priority areas in the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy III.

The 2018 National Tourism Month theme looks at how tourism could be used as a tool that could nurture innovation and technologies.

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