In a webinar on the way forward for the tourism sector that was organised earlier today among the Ministry for Tourism, the Malta Tourism Authority and the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association, attended by around 1,500 participants from this sector, Minister for Tourism and Consumer Protection Julia Farrugia Portelli announced that by next Monday, Prime Minister Robert Abela will announce those economic sectors that will be opening up including those in connection with domestic tourism.
Minister Farrugia Portelli explained that right after the announcements on which sectors will be open and when, the Ministry for Tourism will be publishing clear protocols on how sectors such as restaurants and beaches will be operating.
Minister Farrugia Portelli also said that a bilateral mechanism has been triggered with nine other countries to start talks on the concept of safe corridors which like Malta have addressed Covid in a good manner.
At this stage Malta is communicating with countries such as Luxembourg, Norway, Serbia, Slovakia, Austria, Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania and Israel.
Minister Farrugia Portelli explained that there will be summer in tourism even if different from previous ones. She explained that the strategy of the Maltese Government this week was awarded a strong certificate by the World Tourism Organisation within the United Nations (UNWTO). This organisation praised the incredible way in which the Maltese Government has progressed in tourism in this exceptional crisis through assistance measures offered by the government to address the socio-economic impact among others.
Around 99,000 jobs have already been saved, with 20,000 people in tourism benefitting from Covid’s supplement. Another certificate that the Maltese Government’s strategy is a strong one was the one given by the European Commission which this week stressed that countries should invest in tourism workers.
Minister Farrugia Portelli underlined how Malta was the first country in the world to launch a free training scheme for tourism workers with an investment of €5 million.
Malta Tourism Authority’s CEO Johann Buttigieg welcomed the quite active participation from the tourism stakeholders for this webinar and added that this complements the overwhelming participation of the €5 million investment in training courses that were launched last week and were fully booked in just four days. He added that this is very encouraging and augurs positivity in what is being currently planned for the future.
MHRA President Tony Zahra expressed his satisfaction in the fact that the industry will indeed have a summer this year. He added that he is convinced that if everyone works hand in hand, the situation will improve, and we can move further ahead.
The webinar was addressed also by the Chairman of the Malta Tourism Authority Dr Gavin Gulia and the Deputy CEO and Head of Marketing Carlo Micallef.