The Malta Independent 19 May 2022, Thursday

ADPD calls for tourism that caters for residents’ needs too

Saturday, 14 May 2022, 13:53 Last update: about 4 days ago

The recovery of our country’s economy from the impact of Covid should provide us with an opportunity to improve our policies; It is a unique occasion to plan better tourism that does not depend on numbers but focuses on quality. ADPD-The Green Party Chairperson Carmel Cacopardo, said Saturday

Addressing a press conference in Bugibba Square, Cacopardo said that tourism is not only injecting income into our economy but leaving a negative impact in its wake on the residents.

Deputy chairperson Sandra Gauci referred to recent ministerial statements alluding to an economy growth without restraint in complete disregard to its impact on the country’s infrastructure and the quality of life for all. Are we aware that services such as our hospitals and schools are already bursting at the seams?

Gauci highlighted the Government’s target to return tourism to it’s pre-Covid 2019 levels: more than two million tourists annually. “It seems that no lesson has been learnt and we are going to see a repeat of the same vision of tourism built on numbers and not on quality – it is an indirect admission that Malta can no longer offer quality tourism after the country has been disfigured and made so unappealing thanks to the greed of a clique that have been allowed to do as they please,” said Gauci.

“If we truly believed in improving the tourist product we would not allow a locality that is meant to be a prime tourist site such as the one we are in today – Buġibba – to be mushrooming with cranes everywhere, leaving little space for relaxation not only to the tourist that comes here for a few days but let alone to the year-round residents. Noise, dust, abandonment, aesthetically horrible buildings and all day traffic have become the defining characteristics of our localities reflecting an economy based on unrestrained haphazard development on the backs of cheap labour,” concluded Gauci.

Cacopardo stated that now is the time to discontinue the consideration of tourism only from the viewpoint of those who invest or are employed in the sector. We have to start seriously considering the needs of the residents that live in such localities. However, authorities such as those for tourism and land use planning ignore completely the residents. Financial consideration and moneyed interests take precedence over people in most cases almost without fail!

“It is enough to have a look at the pavements in touristic zones, taken over by tables and chairs making it impossible to walk through. Residents all over the island rightly demand to have their pavements back! The taking over of the pavements by commercial concerns with the blessing of the authorities also means that in such areas it becomes extremely difficult to transport heavy objects into one’s house as well as being unable to put the trash bags out before it is collected,” stated Cacopardo.

Cacopardo mentioned that the yearly notice to stop excavation and demolition in tourist zones between the 15th of June and the 30th of September has just been published. This is meant to minimise dust, noise and general inconvenience in touristic zones. “It is imperative that this awareness is no longer limited to tourist areas but is extended throughout the whole country because all its citizens deserve to be considered by the building industry,” concluded Cacopardo.

 

  • don't miss