Tourism Minister Clayton Bartolo wants Malta to become a top destination for cyclists and faith worshipers in the future.
Speaking on the latest episode of SigmaTV, Bartolo noted how the plan in a post-pandemic world is to expand the island’s tourism portfolio and attract more niche markets.
“At the moment we are working on a very interesting project regarding faith tourism,” he said.
Malta has over 365 churches and chapels, enough to visit one every single day of the year, a feature that Bartolo feels can help the country tap into faith tourism, especially when it comes to attracting tourists from the United States.
“Sports tourism is also very high on our agenda. We are also looking with very much interest at cycling tourism,” he told Trudy Kerr.
“We have a large number of sites where you can cycle whether it be with a mountain bike or road bike,” he said.
Though attempts have been made to improve public safety, Maltese roads are notorious for being unfriendly towards cyclists and on more than one occasion have resulted in injuries as a result of negligence.
Bartolo also discussed the potential of attracting a larger portion of the diving community with the possibility of introducing more wrecks around its shores.
“Our seas are a gem. Let us make the best use of it and its wrecks. Let’s see what additional wrecks we can sink to have better tourist attraction,” he said.
The newly-appointed Tourism Minister also spoke about attracting more far-reaching markets with the hope to attract tourists from the United States, Japan and China.
“These, when coupled with the traditional markets that we have, will give us a good diversified tourist base,” he said.
Malta’s tourism industry has been hard hit by the ongoing pandemic which has discouraged many from flying in fear that they will catch the coronavirus or have to spend their holiday period in quarantine.
Local businesses have suffered as a result but the government has stepped in with stimulus packages and other coping mechanisms to keep industries afloat.
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