Malawians have been urged to embrace digital platforms of promoting tourism in the country.
The call was made on Wednesday during the launch of the National Tourism month at Wildlife Centre in Lilongwe under the theme ‘Tourism and the Digital Transformation’.
Speaking with reporters, Principal Secretary for Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism Ken Ndala who was also the guest of honour at the event said the theme focuses on how tourism can be used as a strategic tool that can nurture innovation and new technologies.
Ndala added that tourism industry like other economic sectors has been impacted by innovation as a key factor for competitiveness and also creating jobs for the future.
“In line with the theme, we will therefore focus on promoting optimal use of digital platform by industry players to showcase their products, use of technology that can enhance entrepreneurship especially amongst the youth, promoting collaboration and partnership between those that develop technology solutions to service the tourism industry and key players,” he explained.
Ndala also urged Malawians to use the platforms in a socially acceptable manner and at the same time to be aware of challenges such as online payment theft, abuse of information and fake news.
He added that the private sector more especially mobile service providers should ensure that the issue of network problems is solved.
In his remarks, Director of Tourism Isaac Katopola said the ministry in collaboration with the private sector has organised various events such as Chitenje Night at Sunbird Capital on 7th of September, Sunbird Water Sport Launch at Nkopola Lodge and Tourism Street Carnival in Blantyre during the month as a way of promoting tourism. Katopola asked Malawian to support the events.
According to 2017 UNWTO World Tourism Barometer international, tourist arrivals grew by a remarkable 7 percent to reach a total of 1,322 million people.
A recent National Statistical Office (NSO) report indicated that Malawi receives 837,000 international tourist who generates over MWK100 billion in direct receipts.