MHRA wel­comes break­through in Chi­nese tourism mar­ket

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

The Malta Ho­tels and Restau­rants As­so­ci­a­tion (MHRA) yes­ter­day wel­comed the an­nounce­ment made by Prime Min­is­ter Joseph Mus­cat in Par­lia­ment that the gov­ern­ment has signed agree­ments with Bank of China and China In­ter­na­tional Travel Ser­vices through which 10,000 Chi­nese vis­i­tors will come to Malta by 2018 and 50,000 by 2020.

MHRA pres­i­dent Tony Zahra com­mented yes­ter­day that, “This is great news and is in line with the strat­egy rec­om­mended by MHRA that Malta should be fo­cus­ing on fur­ther de­vel­op­ing new source mar­kets and to en­hance the qual­ity of tourists that choose to visit our coun­try.”

Mr Zahra fur­ther noted that “it is the right time to en­gage in new strate­gies to di­ver­sify and en­hance the qual­ity of our tourism source mar­kets since this will en­sure sus­tain­able growth in spend­ing per tourist for the longer term, es­pe­cially given the present weak­ness of the Pound Ster­ling which might im­pact ad­versely ar­rivals from the United King­dom.

MHRA said that it has over the past years been lob­by­ing the gov­ern­ment to ad­dress and in­vest in In­dia and China, as new tourism source mar­kets given that ac­cord­ing to var­i­ous UNWTO stud­ies th­ese have been crit­i­cal for growth across the in­ter­na­tional tourism sec­tor.

Mr Zahra added that, “At­tract­ing Chi­nese tourists is a step in the right di­rec­tion; we must also gear the prod­uct for this new mar­ket as the re­quire­ments of the Chi­nese tourist are some­what dif­fer­ent to Euro­pean tourists and this not only from ac­com­mo­da­tion and restau­rant per­spec­tive but also as a shopping ex­pe­ri­ence.

“All stake­hold­ers, ho­tels, restau­rants, en­ter­tain­ment es­tab­lish­ments, shops and all that of­fer some sort of ser­vice to the tourists should con­tinue to work to­gether to en­sure that this move will leave the de­sired re­sults that will ul­ti­mately be ben­e­fi­cial to the Mal­tese econ­omy and all the peo­ple.”

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