Maltese triathlete and top cyclist Fabio Spiteri believes much needs to be done before Malta can be considered a viable and attractive cycling destination for tourists.
Spiteri, who last year cycled around Sicily in just over two days, was responding to comments made by Tourism Minister Clayton Bartolo about positioning Malta as a sports tourist destination in the post-pandemic world.
“Dear Minister, there is a lot to do when it comes to cycling on this 27km long island. First thing to do is listen to what cyclists have to say. I am ready to discuss. I am all for sports tourism,” he said.
Spiteri made reference to the lack of safety on Malta’s roads that have deterred cyclists from travelling to the island.
“Steve Trew used to bring his 40-strong UK triathletes to train in Malta twice a year, this is what he told me recently: ‘Fabio, the single biggest reason that we weren’t able to make Malta our training camp venue anymore is that many of our athletes didn’t feel safe’.”
The lack of respects towards cyclists in Malta is well documented with road accidents putting cyclists in hospital regularly. The Transport Ministry attempted to accommodate cyclists in San Ġwann with a new bike lane but that too was ridiculed for its hazardous implementation that offered no security to cyclists whatsoever.
Tragically, there have been a number of cases where cyclists have died as a result of accidents on the road.
In his interview, Bartolo proposed that Malta should position itself as a destination for sports tourism, discussing the island’s appeal as a diving hotspot too.
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