Tourism Minister Edward Zammit Lewis and the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association (MHRA) have agreed that Mediterranean countries should band together and promote the Mediterranean region in countries like China in order to attract more tourists.
Tony Zahra, President of the MHRA, mentioned that the Mediterranean Tourism Forum was soon to be established as the Mediterranean Tourism Foundation. Tourism Minister Edward Zammit Lewis expressed that he wished to see the forum discuss further topics such as Mediterranean security as well as policies which could have an impact on tourism. He said that Malta should promote its safe environment.
This was said during a meeting between the Minister for Tourism and the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association (MHRA) about Malta’s tourism strategy.
Tourism Minister Edward Zammit Lewis said that the government has been working in partnership with the MHRA and discussions were currently underway for the next phase in the policy. Although the current policy ran until 2016, the Minister said he does not want to leave it till the last minute to draft the plan for the three years following.
The renewal of the policy, he said, will be revealed towards the end of March, closely followed by the implementation plan.
The Minister spoke of the need to improve Malta’s Tourism product, and argued against claims that Malta had reached its saturation point. He indicated that there were areas where improvements could be made in order to attract more tourists.
Dr Zammit Lewis mentioned that an independent expert was hired, and was currently analysing the 2014 figures in order to see where improvements can be made. In addition to this, the government was working on prediction figures. He argues that current indicative figures showed that length of stays seemed to be improving during winter.
On his part, Mr Zahra took note of the recent fuel reduction price and mentioned a further planned fuel reduction in April, hoping that the government kept this promised reduction as well.
Turning to his vision of Malta, Mr Zahra said that he wanted Malta to become like Luxembourg. With this goal in mind, any decisions affecting the Tourism industry could be put into this perspective. He stressed that Malta must look beyond capacity.