Malta will launch a holistic design contest for the regeneration of a number of unnamed tourist hotspots, as well as a widespread plan to regenerate tourism in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.
While details haven’t been published yet, it was included in the annual Budget speech presented by Finance Minister Edward Scicluna tonight.
“Tourism is a major pillar of our economy and the pandemic had a devastating effect on this sector and all those directly and indirectly related to it,” Scicluna said. “From day to night, their income ground to a practically complete halt.”
Scicluna said the government will help this industry recover, including by requesting the European Commission for permission to grant state aid to Air Malta.
However, he admitted that the tourism market is likely to become far more competitive in the near future and that Malta must position itself as a destination for “high-quality tourists”.
To this end, the government will launch a ten-year strategy based on a “sustainable and competitive tourism industry”, which will include measures to attract conventions and conferences to its shores and incentives for hospitality establishments to generate cleaner energy.
“Our goal next year is to do our utmost to recover what we lost,” Scicluna said. “The challenges are great and we’ll compete for far fewer tourists but we’ll be ready to return to where we were at last year.”