Malta should expand its ferry service and launch new routes to Italy and Greece, the Nationalist Party has proposed.
In a set of proposals to kickstart the island’s struggling tourism industry, Shadow Tourism Minister Robert Arrigo called for a significant expansion of the island’s ferry routes, which currently only operate to Sicily.
His proposed new destinations are Northern Italy (such as Genova and Livorno), Southern Italy (such as Naples), and the Port of Piraeus in Greece as a “gateway to the eastern Mediterranean”.
Closer to home, the PN also proposed a new fast ferry service between Gozo and Baħar iċ-Ċagħaq, with parking facilities provided, over and above the fast ferry service between Gozo and Valletta which is set to launch in June.
With regards to air connectivity, the PN said Malta should offer airlines incentives to guarantee the return of all carriers, routes and frequencies that were lost during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, they said new flights should be set up to the German cities of Stuttgart and Leipzig, the French city of Lille, and the Finnish capital of Helsinki.
They said the government should incentivise airlines by offering them €10 per booked seat with a minimum of two flights a week for the summer season and €20 per seat with a minimum of two flights a week for the winter.
These incentives will be in place for three years, with the target being to fill at least two million seats to and from Malta (ie. one million tourist arrivals) in 2021.
The 2022 target will increase to 80% of the total seats which were available in 2019, while the 2023 target will be 100% of the seats which were available pre-pandemic.
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