Tourism Minister vis­its ITS fresh­ers’ week

Malta Independent - - NEWS - Neil Camil­leri Pho­to­graph: Jonathan Borg

Tourism Minister Ed­ward Zam­mit Lewis yes­ter­day vis­ited the main cam­pus of the In­sti­tute for Tourism Stud­ies in St Ju­lian’s and told students that the sec­tor was go­ing through ex­cit­ing times and record growth.

The in­sti­tute will be ac­com­mo­dat­ing over 600 students this year. Dr Zam­mit Lewis said the ITS has a very im­por­tant role to en­sure that Malta re­mains firmly on the suc­cess path in the future.

The minister pointed out the lat­est in­bound tourism fig­ures pub­lished by NSO con­firm­ing that for the first time in the month of Au­gust, Malta sur­passed the quar­ter of a mil­lion fig­ure in in­bound tourists, reg­is­ter­ing a 3.4% in­crease on Au­gust 2015. “This is truly a his­toric achieve­ment,” he said.

Tourist ex­pen­di­ture between the first eight months of the year reached €1.157 bil­lion, 3.6% more than that registered between Jan­uary and Au­gust of last year. This meant an in­crease of €40 mil­lion more in direct rev­enue in the econ­omy.

The minister said ITS students will now have more op­por­tu­ni­ties than ever to grow both per­son­ally and pro­fes­sion­ally thanks to a con­sol­i­dated and stream­lined ed­u­ca­tional struc­ture in the class­room and the pos­si­bil­i­ties pro­vided through the in­sti­tute’s strong re­la­tion­ships with lead­ing lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional tourism as well as hospi­tal­ity play­ers, lead­ing to lo­cal and over­seas place­ments, in­tern­ships, spon­sor­ships and net­work­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties, even while students are still in the process of fi­nal­is­ing their stud­ies.

Dr Zam­mit Lewis ex­plained that Malta’s tourism com­pet­i­tive­ness can only be sus­tained if growth is ac­com­pa­nied by the de­vel­op­ment of, and in­vest­ment in, our hu­man re­sources. “To this end,” he said, “we have been en­gag­ing all re­lated stake­hold­ers to se­cure their com­mit­ment to­wards mea­sures de­signed to en­hance the work­ing con­di­tions and the pro­fes­sional qual­ity of the tourism work­force.”

ITS Ex­ec­u­tive Direc­tor Pierre Fenech said: “We be­lieve that through these op­por­tu­ni­ties that ITS pro­vides, our students ex­pand their knowl­edge and skills, gain an in­ter­na­tional per­spec­tive and, at the same time, build a very im­por­tant network of friends and con­tacts on an in­ter­na­tional scale that will serve them for their ca­reers in the tourism and hospi­tal­ity in­dus­try.”

Fresh­ers’ Week at the In­sti­tute of Tourism Stud­ies was held this week and comes to an end to­day, dur­ing which students have the op­por­tu­nity to visit the var­i­ous ITS De­part­men­tal stands to fi­nalise the prepa­ra­tions for the start of their aca­demic year.

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