The Malta Independent 26 February 2024, Monday
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Libya hopes to emulate Malta’s tourism success

Malta Independent Thursday, 22 August 2013, 10:42 Last update: about 11 years ago

Malta’s success in tourism is an example that Libya wants to follow, according to Libyan Tourism Minister Ikram Bash Imam.

Ms Bash Imam is on an official visit to Malta at the invitation of the Maltese government, and she met her Maltese counterpart Karmenu Vella for talks today, in what marked her first official visit to a foreign government.

Mr Vella had accompanied Prime Minister Joseph Muscat on a visit to Libya last June, although on that occasion, the Libyan Tourism Ministry was represented by under-secretary Abdulsamea Mahboob.

The focus of today’s talks was improving cooperation between Malta and its southern neighbour, including through a revision of an agreement on cooperation in the tourism sector which had been signed in 1995.

Other items on the agenda include the development of programmes to train tourism sector workers – Ms Bash Imam will also be meeting the chairman and directors of the Institute for Tourism Studies – and the organisation of a visit to Libya for local tourism operators and businesses.

The ministers’ opening remarks were open to the press, and Mr Vella noted that Malta felt that the existing cooperation not only should be continued, but improved. He insisted that while tourism was crucial to the country’s economy, Malta did not view its Mediterranean neighbours as competitors, but as possible partners.

He also pointed out that Libya could be a potential destination for the Maltese.

On her part, Ms Bash Imam praised Malta’s performance in tourism, and said that her own country needed to learn from successful experiences such as Malta’s to develop its own tourism sector.

After pointing out that the two countries were very near, and that their people shared similar mentalities, she stressed that Malta and Libya could develop a tourism industry together.

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