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‘Tourism data vital in decision making’

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By Isaac Salima:

Secretary for Tourism, Culture and Wildlife Chauncy Simwaka has said the country needs to have data on tourism to help in policy formulation.

Simwaka said this during the launch of experimental Malawi Tourism Satellite Account; data which will be used to measure contribution of tourism industry.

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“It is very relevant for the country to have good systems for accounting how much tourism [sector] has brought. This is a departure from traditional national accounting system which was limited but the satellite account is very comprehensive and will provide all the details that are available about tourism,” Simwaka said.

He further said that the data will be updated yearly to gauge how much the tourism sector has contributed to the country’s economy.

Commissioner of Statistics at National Statistical Office Lizzie Chikoti said the satellite account will give a broader measure of tourism in the country.

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“Previously we did not have a measure of tourism on its own but we were just computing food services and accommodation as what constitute the industry. But with the satellite account we will be able to measure what tourism is all about,” Chikoti said.

World Tourism Organisation and African Development Bank supported the initiative.

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