The Department of Tourism has said insignificant contributions to the Tourism Marketing Fund are hampering implementation of planned tourism marketing activities key to sectoral growth.
The Tourism Marketing Fund manages the one percent tourism levy that players in the sector pay to government.
Director of tourism in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Isaac Katopola, said in an interview that the country requires about K3 billion annually to market tourism products to the world, against the K950 million the sector earned last year.
Meanwhile, Economics Association of Malawi (Ecama) president Chikumbutso Kalilombe has faulted government for not allocating enough resources to the sector, saying government cannot expect more returns if it is failing to invest more resources.
He said: “It’s a chicken and an egg situation because you want to grow the tourism sector, but for you to do that you have to invest in it. However, we are faced with a situation where we say no, let us use the funds generated from the current small base which is a limitation on its own. We need better investment for effective marketing that bring results.”
As of 2016, according to National Statistical Office, tourism contributed about 7.5 percent to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) which, according to Katopola, gives government hope to meet the targets by 2020.n