Malta’s tourism sector could very well start picking up before the end of the year, stemmed by people’s desires to travel and eat out, the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association has said.
“Significant measures of support to the tourism sector, which MHRA together with Government have devised, aim to maintain work processes and systems in place as much as possible, hence ensuring job security and consequently enough capacity to relaunch operations at the right moment,’ MHRA President Tony Zahra said.
“Now it’s not the time to travel the world but one thing is for sure: people’s desire to travel and dine out will always be strong. As soon as the crisis situation returns to normal, Malta needs to be ready – and this is what the agreed measures aim to achieve. Then we can do what we do best: Hosting guests and offering our customers a unique tourism experience.”
The MHRA issued a statement after Times of Malta quoted anonymous government advisers as warning that the fallout of the COVID-19 crisis could see Malta lose up to €3 billion in tourist expenditure and result in the loss of up to 50,000 jobs.
The association played down the claims, stating while the tourism industry does expect to make “significant losses” over the course of the year, it doesn’t expect to lose €3 billion.
“Indeed, the tourism sector in the first months of the year marked record performance levels and as soon as travel restrictions will start to be relaxed, MHRA is confident that the tourism sector will gradually be picking up before the end of this year,” Zahra said.
“Undoubtedly, weeks of uncertainty lie ahead of us and no one can really foretell the future – that’s why claims made today by the Times of Malta that there can be a loss of 50,000 jobs may sound too sensational and cause unnecessary and unfounded alarms during such sensitive times.”