5-star ho­tels ex­pe­ri­ence an­other de­crease

● Nights in pri­vate ac­com­mo­da­tion up 14%

Malta Independent - - NEWS - Gabriel Schem­bri

Guest nights in pri­vate ac­com­mo­da­tion con­tin­ued to grow by 14.3% in the first nine months of the year 2016. Ac­cord­ing to the re­sults pro­vided by the Deloitte BOV MHRA ho­tel sur­vey, the ho­tel sec­tor was most im­pacted by the re­ported de­crease in guest­nights in the five-star sec­tor.

Dur­ing these same nine months, the four- and three-star seg­ment re­ported mi­nor move­ment in their oc­cu­pancy lev­els when com­pared to the re­sults last year. How­ever, the five-star ac­com­mo­da­tion saw a de­crease to 78% com­pared to the 81.2% reg­is­tered last year.

These re­sults were de­bated dur­ing a con­fer­ence dis­cussing tourism or­gan­ised by the Malta Ho­tels and Restau­rants As­so­ci­a­tion.

Col­lec­tively, the ac­com­mo­da­tion es­tab­lish­ments grew by 1.9% in the third quar­ter of this year.

Ad­dress­ing the con­fer­ence, Min­is­ter for Tourism Ed­ward Zam­mit Lewis said that the coun­try is set to start the sev­enth con­sec­u­tive year of record growth in the tourism sec­tor. There was an in­crease in the vol­ume and ca­pac­ity in the sec­tor with over 1.9 mil­lion ar­rivals by end of 2016 and a to­tal ex­pen­di­ture of €1.7 bil­lion in ex­pen­di­ture.

The min­is­ter said the gov­ern­ment aims to achieve the two mil­lion vis­i­tor mark by end of 2017.

On Air Malta, the min­is­ter said that the coun­try’s air con­nec­tiv­ity re­mains one of the most strate­gic pri­or­i­ties. “We be­lieve that Air Malta can­not sur­vive on its own and re­quires an ef­fec­tive strate­gic part­ner. This will en­sure dras­tic cost sav­ings. I am not in­ter­ested in ap­ply­ing quick fixes, I want long-term so­lu­tions, even if this means that the process may take longer than ex­pected.

Shadow Min­is­ter for the Econ­omy Clau­dio Grech said that the Op­po­si­tion notes the pos­i­tive re­sults achieved, but added that there is one key el­e­ment which needs to be taken into ac­count; that is the fore­sight and the com­mer­cial po­si­tion­ing of the coun­try. He said this was the key suc­cess fac­tor in the per­for­mance brought to­day.

On Air Malta, the PN MP said it is in a very dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion which has moved from be­ing dif­fi­cult to a sit­u­a­tion of sur­vival. “If we take the typ­i­cal par­ti­san at­ti­tude, we could lie back and let the crit­i­cal sit­u­a­tion un­fold and wait for re­sults to hap­pen. That would be the can­cer­ous politi­cal at­ti­tude, the same which brought so much harm al­ready in the past.”

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