The Malta Independent 30 November 2022, Wednesday
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WATCH: ‘Malta definitely cannot take five million tourists’, Tourism Minister says

Luke Fenech Thursday, 29 September 2022, 11:13 Last update: about 2 months ago

Malta definitely cannot take five million tourists, and the government will not be going in the direction of aiming to attract that number of tourists to the country, Tourism Minister Clayton Bartolo told The Malta Independent on Thursday.

Bartolo was asked about a study published last week, where the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association (MHRA) said that 4.7 million tourists will be needed in Malta every year in order to cater for the planned increase in hotel beds.

This is almost double the 2.8 million tourists which Malta welcomed prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The study reviewed Planning Authority permits for hotel bed stock which have not yet been approved. It found that Malta would need 4.7 million tourists, staying an average just under 7 nights, to cover 80% of their occupancy.

Asked whether these figures were unsustainable for Malta, Tourism Minister Bartolo seemed to agree, saying that the country certainly cannot support that amount of tourists in a year.

He said that when he meets with private investors and they explain to him what their projects are, he always encourages them to do their workings correctly in order to “understand that they need to be sustainable to support their investment.”

Bartolo added that investment in tourism doesn’t necessarily mean investment in hotels, stating that there are a number of other niches which are innovative which up until today have not seen the required level of investment.

He encouraged the private sector to seek out these niches so that their investment can be more in line with the country’s tourism strategy for the next decade.

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