The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism has said that tourism is key to Malawi’s economic growth since it has been contributing to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and creating jobs.
Minister responsible Joseph Mwanamvekha made the remarks in Lilongwe during opening of the first National Tourism Conference at Sunbird capital.
The minister said government has spotted the significance of tourism sector in social and economic growth of the country through providing jobs and increasing GDP.
“The sector has been stead in terms of its contribution to Gross Domestic Project (GDP), employment and general social and economic development. The 2015 tourism statistic report from National Statistics Office indicated that the sectors aggregate contribute to GDP was K221 billion, representing 7.2 percent of GDP,” Mwanamvekha said.
On his take on the role of tourism in providing job opportunities, Mwanamvekha said that the sector has supported about 446, 000 jobs representing 6.2 percent of employment in the country.
He further revealed that the industry in the coming years will add its contribution to GDP.
“The 2016-2021 Tourism Development Strategic Plan has targeted to tourism from 804, 000 visitors in 2014 to 1.2 billion in 2021 and contribute 10 to 15 percent of the GDP,” he said.
Mwanamvekha also said that United Nations in its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS) recognizes tourism as a viable means to promote a sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full of productive employment and decent work for all.
The conference was organized through the Ministry and Tourism Council, Sunbird Tourism and Germany government through the GIZ/MIERA project.