Government, through the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, has embarked on an nationwide enforcement exercise of the one percent tourism levy, which tourism enterprises are sanctioned to remit to the Department of Tourism.
Principal Secretary for Ministry, Cliff Chiunda has since warned that all units that will be compliant during the exercise will be closed down and that “they will only be opened after clearing all outstanding levies.
According to the Tourism and Hotels Act Cap 50:01, every designated tourism enterprise is supposed to remit monthly tourism marketing levy by the 12th day of the following months.
Funds collected are used for destination marketing, according to Chiunda.
He said a team of officers and auditors from the Department of Tourism will carry out the exercise to ensure that all tourism enterprises are compliant and current in terms of monthly remittances to the Department.
“We appeal to all tourism enterprises to have their records ready for the inspection during this exercise as it is a requirement and the Department of Tourism is mandated to verify all levy remittances.
“It is illegal to collect the levy and fail to remit it to the authorities by the stipulated date and this is punishable by law,” warned Chiunda.
Recently, Industry, Trade and Tourism Minister Joseph Mwanamvekha described tourism as key to Malawi’s economic growth as it largely contribute to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and jobs creation.
National Statistics Office’s (NSO) 2015 Tourism report shows that the sectors contribution to GDP was K221 billion, representing 7.2 percent of GDP.
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.