The Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association (MHRA) notes with satisfaction that since the airport opened, gradual tourism influx together with the Government vouchers scheme and the continuation of salary subsidies started to give hope for economic recovery and survival of businesses and employment related to the travel, hospitality and tourism sector.
For a number of weeks during the reopening of the airport and the economy, the rates of COVID-19 related infections kept being at their lowest levels. As a result of this, thousands of jobs and hundreds of businesses from across our economy have to date been maintained. MHRA considers this as a great success when one appreciates the uncertainty and the dynamic environment which the world is currently going through. Indeed, this did not happen by coincidence but is the outcome of collective, constructive and responsible work conducted by stakeholders namely the Ministry for Tourism and Consumer Protection, the Malta Tourism Authority, the Ministry for Health and all our members – hotels and restaurants- who probably are the major victims of this pandemic.
But the difficulties are far from over. As is evident, the pandemic is still very much active at a global level and no one knows what course it will take, how fierce will it be and how long will it take to end.
All stakeholders agree that there are no clear solutions but MHRA believes that the way forward should remain that of working on a balanced approach. Lessons are being learnt from our experience and the experience of others and accordingly the best approach remains that to keep applying reasonable protocols which ensure that life keeps going on whilst securing safety by mitigating risks and embracing sustainable economic conditions.
Extreme positions will guarantee disastrous results and therefore MHRA calls upon Government to keep taking the necessary actions which reflect a balanced approach for the benefit of the public, employers and employees.
The fact remains that if the tourism sector receives a blow, then the rest of the economy will suffer and many jobs, not only those directly related to tourism, will be put at high risk. We are in this together and the only way to get out of it successfully is by working hard together around a table governed by responsible discussion and decisions.