The Malta Independent 17 July 2024, Wednesday
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MHRA urges authorities to uphold Valletta's high-end vision in public space usage

Saturday, 22 June 2024, 18:46 Last update: about 24 days ago

The Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association (MHRA) on Saturday urged the relevant authorities to exercise greater discretion when granting permissions for events and commercial activities in public spaces.

While these activities may be legitimate, their chosen venues can sometimes clash with the overall image of the area. Valletta, the capital city of Malta, has been widely agreed upon by all stakeholders, including the government, to be positioned as a high-end destination.

Significant investments have been made in restoring world heritage buildings, organizing cultural activities, and converting abandoned properties into high-end boutique establishments that reflect Maltese authenticity.

Any public event or activity that contradicts this vision should be relocated to more appropriate venues, the MHRA said. Recent decisions in Valletta have not aligned with these principles, as evidenced by low-quality stands in front of the Malta Court of Justice selling subpar crafts, disorganized entertainment, and shops cluttering the streets with products. Furthermore, there are no clear policies and regulations governing the use of tables and chairs in outdoor spaces throughout Valletta.

The MHRA said it is working closely with the Malta Tourism Authority (MTA) to ensure Valletta offers a high-quality experience as a unique destination. However, MHRA notes that all other public entities must be synchronized in this effort. It is disappointing that, as the peak tourism season begins, the entrance to Valletta has been overtaken by private commercial activities that do not fit the desired image of Valletta.

This not only creates inconvenience by reducing access to Valletta to a few pathways but also undermines the vision authorities and the MHRA have for the city. The MHRA appeals to the relevant authorities to exercise greater care and responsibility before approving such initiatives, which could easily be conducted elsewhere.

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