MHRA welcomes breakthrough in Chinese tourism market
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.”