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Government pushes for domestic tourism

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By Jameson Chauluka:

READY TO SERVE—One of the pavilions at the carnival

The government has finalised drafting the Domestic Marketing Strategy which seeks to promote domestic tourism.

Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Henry Mussa, said this on Saturday during Blantyre Street Tourism Carnival.

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Mussa said his ministry would be guided by the strategy to roll out activities that encourage residents to travel locally.

“Time has come that we, Malawians, and other people living in the country should develop interest in visiting our tourism destinations. We have big animals like elephants, lions, leopards and others in almost all game reserves,” he said.

The carnival started with a march from Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital to Blantyre Central Business District along Hannover Street, led by the Malawi Defence Force Brass Band.

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There were also performances by various cultural groups, Chilipamutu, who rides a bicycle while balancing a bucket full of water on his head, and karate boys.

Ecoride Managing Director, Pilirani Namalomba, whose firm took part in the carnival, described the event as fruitful.

“We have managed to meet new customers and explain to them how they can access a taxi from the comfort of their homes using Ecoride mobile app.

“Through Ecoride, Malawians can travel to any tourist destination in Malawi safely. Malawi needs more of such festivals to promote tourism in the country,” Namalomba said.

Malawi Gaming Board was the main sponsor of the carnival.

Malawi Gaming Board Director of Operations, David Saeruzika, said the board would continue supporting the tourism sector.

Tourism remains one of the country’s key economic sectors contributing seven percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product.

In 2016, tourism contributed about 6.2 percent to the country’s job market.

The 2018 Blantyre Tourism Street Carnival was observed under the theme ‘Tourism and Digital Transformation’.

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