The tourism, hospitality and travel sectors are combatting the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, moving further towards a continuously challenging new normal. These industries unprecedentedly initiated a complete overhaul of their business models, but what sort of opportunities could await them in the coming years, possibly months?
This was the theme of a webinar organised by the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association (MHRA) in collaboration with Bank of Valletta and Deloitte Malta. Key speakers from several industries discussed what happened over the past months and what future prospects may drive these sectors to innovate themselves.
“Strategies are currently in place to revitalize the tourism sector in our country,” said Tony Zahra, President of the MHRA. Mr Zahra explained that prudency and contingency planning will be key to overcome the lack of vision placed upon us over the past year, while also remarking that the time is now to rejuvenate our economy and our people. “From here onwards, any economic activity should benefit our people, and we should concentrate on further developing their skills”.
Access to affordable and sustainable finance was remarked as a pivotal factor for these sectors going forward.
Albert Frendo, Chief Credit Officer at Bank of Valletta claimed that the ideal financing solutions will be attributable to sustainability and innovation. “Throughout the pandemic, Bank of Valletta has been at the forefront of financially supporting customers and businesses,” said Mr Frendo. “As the situation evolves, the local business community will have to regenerate the overall offering within a wider national strategic plan. It needs to be cognizant of and adapt to the emerging and evolving trends, acknowledge the need for accelerated investment in innovation, revamp its marketing efforts, whilst ensuring effective product development and the creation of new niches.”
Mr Frendo concluded that local entrepreneurs have the agility and flexibility to innovate and seek modern solutions, developed around deep business acumen and sustainable financial support.
This webinar was one of a series of webinars organised or co-hosted by Bank of Valletta with the aim of connecting the local business community to the best expertise, practices and insights.