The Malta Independent 22 August 2019, Thursday

We cannot have a 6-star hotel with a 3-star environment around it – PM Muscat

Duncan Barry Thursday, 24 September 2015, 15:47 Last update: about 5 years ago

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said today that Malta cannot have a 6-star hotel – as is planned – but have a 3-star environment surrounding it.

He said a number of localities need to be kept cleaner, not only those which experience a great influx of tourists and locals such as St Paul’s Bay, St Julian’s and Marsascala.

Addressing Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association members during a meeting at Castille, Dr Muscat said that what needs to be discussed is the financing of the upkeep. He said that he would like to rope in the private sector.

The aim of today’s meeting was for the MHRA to present a pre budget document to the government.

Dr Muscat said Malta needed to be prepared for spikes in tourism. “We cannot have certain localities which cannot keep up with a huge volume of refuse which accumulates for instance when there’s a sudden influx of tourists.”

MHRA president Tony Zahra said the document – ‘Beyond Growth Comes Development’ – is not only aimed for the tourism sector his association represents but other sectors as well.

He said the aim of the document is to analyse what the situation will be in 20 years’ time and not simply look at the short-term only.

“We have had record years in tourism and we are predicting another record year. That we know. But we need to look further than that,” he explained, “including how the economic situation will affect our sector and other sectors”.

Dr Muscat said that despite the good economic situation, the government cannot simply start spending like there’s no tomorrow.

He said that the government needed to focus on quality tourist arrivals rather than just numbers.

Photos Jonathan Borg

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