No such thing as gain­ing from the mis­for­tune of oth­ers

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

Dur­ing the World Travel Mar­ket in Lon­don, Min­is­ter for Tourism Ed­ward Zam­mit Lewis par­tic­i­pated and was cho­sen to be part of the main pan­el­lists dur­ing the tenth edi­tion of the United Na­tions of World Travel Or­gan­i­sa­tion Min­is­ters’ Sum­mit, mod­er­ated by CNN cor­re­spon­dent Becky An­der­son.

The theme of the dis­cus­sion was Tourism and Se­cu­rity: Pro­mot­ing safe and seam­less travel. Dur­ing his ad­dress, the min­is­ter stated that safety and se­cu­rity are in­te­gral parts of any tourism ex­pe­ri­ence. Tourism gen­er­ally in­volves peo­ple trav­el­ling for en­joy­ment out­side of their usual en­vi­ron­ment, mean­ing peo­ple need to travel with the peace of mind nec­es­sary for en­joy­ment of their leisure time.

“The com­plex na­ture of tourism which in­te­grates in a com­plex man­ner with the host com­mu­nity and the en­tire ter­ri­tory of the des­ti­na­tion make the man­age­ment of tourism safety and se­cu­rity a multi-dis­ci­plinary ac­tion. This means that such risks need to be as­sessed, man­aged and dis­cussed by a mul­ti­tude of agen­cies each pos­sess­ing dif­fer­ent ar­eas of com­pe­tence, power and ex­per­tise. In such sit­u­a­tions a lead agency needs to be iden­ti­fied for all con­tin­gen­cies con­cerned,” the min­is­ter said.

The min­is­ter also em­pha­sised that the lead­er­ship of in­ter­na­tional bod­ies such as the UNWTO, WHO and oth­ers is in­te­gral to the suc­cess­ful man­age­ment of such sit­u­a­tions par­tic­u­larly when they reach cri­sis lev­els.

“In today’s glob­alised world there is no such thing as gain­ing from the mis­for­tune of other des­ti­na­tions. Most of the safety and se­cu­rity concerns which neg­a­tively influence tourism even­tu­ally set off a chain re­ac­tion along the tourism sup­ply chain which ul­ti­mately neg­a­tively in­flu­ences over­all tourism world­wide.”

Dur­ing the World Travel Mar­ket, Pres­i­dent Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, and Min­is­ter Zam­mit Lewis were for­mally in­vited to a net­work­ing event by the Malta High Com­mis­sion in Lon­don aimed at both lo­cal and for­eign op­er­a­tors op­er­at­ing in the tourism sec­tor in Malta.

Dur­ing this event, the min­is­ter noted that the World Tourism Or­gan­i­sa­tion has praised the growth of the tourism sec­tor in Malta by re­fer­ring to it as ‘ro­bust and pos­i­tive’. In ad­di­tion, the min­is­ter pointed out that the latest WTO Barom­e­ter pub­lished in Septem­ber notes that global tourism be­tween Jan­uary and June of this year rose by 4% whereas, for this same pe­riod, ar­rivals to Malta rose above this av­er­age, specif­i­cally by 9.7%.

Gov­ern­ment is mak­ing in­roads with re­gards to its pol­icy ob­jec­tive of re­duc­ing sea­son­al­ity pat­terns. Be­tween Jan­uary and March of this year, ar­rivals in­creased by more than 13% to reach 282,000.

The min­is­ter to­gether with se­nior Malta Tourism Au­thor­ity of­fi­cials, also at­tended a num­ber of meet­ings with cur­rent and forth­com­ing tour op­er­a­tors and travel agen­cies in­ter­ested in its tourism mar­ket. Dur­ing these meet­ings Dr Zam­mit Lewis dis­cussed the Mal­tese tourism prod­uct, pro­pos­als from the same op­er­a­tors and how gov­ern­ment in­tends to ad­vance the tourism prod­uct. In ad­di­tion, the Tourism Min­is­ter held a series of meet­ings with var­i­ous air­lines op­er­a­tors and ex­am­ined the prospects of open­ing new routes to/from our shores.

In light of the Brexit is­sue, the Min­is­ter for Tourism held meet­ings ad­dress­ing the Bri­tish tourism mar­ket with travel op­er­a­tors and reaf­firmed the gov­ern­ment po­si­tion that Bri­tish tourists vis­it­ing the Mal­tese Is­lands in post-Brexit times would con­tinue to ben­e­fit from the same con­di­tions. The min­is­ter re­ceived very pos­i­tive feed­back on the UK source mar­ket from the main tour op­er­a­tors for 2017.

The World Travel Mar­ket is the prime tourism fair held an­nu­ally in Lon­don with more than 50,000 vis­i­tors, mainly op­er­a­tors from the in­ter­na­tional tourism sphere.

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