The Malta Independent 27 November 2021, Saturday

Malta Chamber of Commerce proposes lowering VAT on all tourist services

Wednesday, 10 November 2021, 13:12 Last update: about 16 days ago

The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry has proposed lowering VAT on all tourist services to 7%, unless the product or service being offered is already VAT exempt.

"Incremental income from VAT reduction should be diverted towards improvement in salaries," the Chamber said in a statement.

The Tourism Operators' Business Section at The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry, with the support of Seed, presented Rediscover, its vision for Malta's tourism industry.

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Chamber President Marisa Xuereb said that The Malta Chamber recognises the vital importance of tourism as a pillar of the Maltese Economy, "and we believe that this document is the blueprint to strengthening and future-proofing this sector for decades to come."  

In his remarks, the Chair of the Tourism Business Section, Alan Arrigo said: "We've placed sustainable growth in the epicentre of our vision. One that is built on improving customer journey, encouraging authentic quality customer experiences and building on our capabilities to make Malta a destination of choice."

"The document is rooted in a detailed analysis of the hurdles faced by Malta and its tourism operators in this sector. This analysis is contextualised within broader international industry trends and is enriched by consultation with more than 29 industry stakeholders, leading to a series of recommendations and key performance indicators geared at revitalising the Maltese tourism sector in a post COVID-19 future," the statement by the Chamber read.

"In doing so, the document proposes its recommendations based eight key themes: Branding & Marketing; Digital & Innovation; Accommodation; Sectoral Infrastructure; Culture & Identity; Governance & Institutions; Human Capital; Connectivity"

This Vision proposes a new focus on unique and varied events which are true to the local identity, a proposal which forms part of a broader approach to strengthen the Maltese tourism brand as well as the specific marketing of destinations such as Gozo and Valletta in their own right, the Chamber said.

Furthermore, The Chamber proposes carrying out a sectoral review to measure tourism operators' digital readiness to identify all opportunities for digital transformation and include opportunities for funding.

"The restructuring of current licensing regimes are to reflect new accommodation concepts and quality standards that match target clientele." The Chamber believes that hotel star classifications need to be revisited.

Moreover, The Chamber believes connectivity is key to ensuring that Malta remains accessible and advocates for enhanced route development, including pushing for the national airline to hold key city airports while low-cost airlines retain their foothold in regional airports.

CEO of The Malta Chamber Marthese Portelli said: "With this Vision, The Malta Chamber believes Malta will solidify its place as a quality, year-round destination of the highest standard at the forefront of international industry trends."

 


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