English language students could get up to €600 under the PN’s 100-proposal recovery plan for Malta’s tourism sector.
Called the “2+8 Strategic Plan”, the document covers the next ten years with a special focus on the coming two, proposing measures to boost one of the worse hit industries by COVID-19.
Despite the hour-long address, the PN did not invite journalists to ask questions on the crucial proposal for Malta’s tourism recovery.
“The next two years are going to be crucial. We’ve shown how serious the situation is by drawing up this plan. We need to see a commitment to a safe, connected and quality tourism sector,” PN Tourism spokesperson Robert Arrigo said in a presentation today.
“The government’s plan is vague and fragmented. We can’t save a €2 billion industry with small, vague schemes,” he said.
Firstly, it calls for financial incentives to boost interntional marketing of Malta as an ideal and safe destination for tourists.
The PN proposed for a number of free COVID-19 PCR testing centres, two in Malta and one for Gozo, as well as mandatory vaccine passports and a 1st June deadline for all those working in the tourism to be fully vaccinated against the virus.
The document also looked into increasing connectivity, particularly by exploring agreements with different airports, and sea travel options. Air Malta, it said, must play a key role in this.
For accommodation and catering, the PN called for taxes for 2020 and 2021 to be paid over the next five years. Meanwhile, hotels could be supported to undertake renovations while hostels can launch “live like a local” projects for a more authentic experience.
PN also looked into eco-tourism, by proposing more dedicated spaces for camping, complete with facilities one would find at hotels. Mata could also be promoted as an ideal destination for trekking, walking and biking and sea sports, it said.
Gastronomy was another main point of the party’s plan. It proposed projects like gastro tours, a “made in Malta” badge for local products as well as farmers markets like those seen in London and Barcelona.
Restaurants and bars would also benefit from a slash of VAT to 7%.
In terms of English language tourism, the PN called for more tax cuts and a fund of up to €600 for students who chose to learn in Malta.
On culture, it called for longer opening hours for museum, incentives to support tour guides, investments in infrastructure in places like Paceville, Bugibba and St. Paul’s Bay and a full calendar of annual events.
Lastly, the PN proposed a “Green Gozo” scheme to boost tourism on the island. Gozo, it said, should be promoted as a destination for adventure and sports besides other established niches.
What do you make of their plan?