By Solister Mogha – Mana.
Department of Tourism and the National Statistical Office (NSO) will from Monday next week, carry out a Domestic Tourism Survey to reveal research based information on how much the tourism sector was contributing to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
The Survey to be conducted within 50 days would provide the basis of setting up the Tourism Satellite Account while improving government’s decision making regarding the tourism industry.
Project Coordinator for Promoting Investment and Competitive in the Tourism Sector (PICTS), Hilbert Chihanga disclosed this on Monday in Zomba at the start of a weeklong training of the survey’s enumerators drawn from NSO offices.
He observed that tourism sector has the potential to absorb many of the youth and women who are unemployed thereby revitalizing the local economy.
Chihanga said for many years, the country did not have accurate data about the sector and how much it was contributing to the economy in spite of the evidenced projections of 7 percent contribution to GDP and 6.2 percent employment in 2016.
“This Survey will be able to provide data on number of domestic tourists in the country, the patterns of domestic tourism in-terms of the purpose of visit and travel destinations, the average expenditure and length of stay,” he added.
The Survey will provide information on the transport and accommodation used as well as the level of satisfaction of these domestic tourists.
Apart from setting up the Satellite Data Account, Chihana said the Survey would play a crucial role when developing the tourism strategic documents and action plans which in turn would lead to growth of the tourism sector.
Commissioner for Statistics, Mercy Kanyuka said domestic tourism survey was a new activity that the office never thought about it.
She said statistical data was important if the country is to move forward on issues of tourism.
“For the country to make progress it needs to have evidence based information in its database and as NSO, we are mandated by constitution to conduct surveys that would contribute to our national information system,” Kanyuka added.
The NSO is optimistic that the survey findings will be instrumental in promoting the Malawi’s tourism sector
“We are so much sure that this survey would assist in developing a sound information system that would form a benchmark for the current tourism situation and provide basis for planning, monitoring and evaluation of the many activities,” Kanyuka said.
The Commissioner said 12,000 households from the 2018 Population and Housing Census information systems will be sampled randomly in all the 28 districts of the country for the tourism survey.
Supported by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the survey will be conducted for 50 days.