A Budget aimed at improving the quality of life
MHRA has consistently stated that the key to the success of tourism is connectivity, product enhancement and sustainability. In this light MHRA welcomes the news that Air Malta has successfully registered positive results in performance and its growth prospects, as announced in the Budget.
Specifically, MHRA notes the vision being set for Air Malta as the Airline for the Mediterranean: an overall expansionary strategy that incorporates development of new routes and new airlines. These growth prospects are supported by the substantial increase in MTA’s budget from €55m to €72m.
In terms of product enhancement MHRA commends government’s intentions to maximise the collection of the eco-contribution which will further help to improve the tourism product through embellishment initiatives. Indeed, the Paceville embellishment project is a step in the right direction as it aims to raise the bar for the tourism product. Marsaxlokk, Birzebbuga, Xlendi, Gzira and Msida promenades also got a special mention for embellishment. MHRA feels that other important tourism zones like Bugibba and the northern part of the island must also be considered.
The coast remains a very important component of the tourism product and the announced beach development projects for both existing and proposed new beaches, will contribute to improving the tourism offer.
Other product improvement projects such as road infrastructure, management plans of Natura 2000 parks, improvements in public transport and investment in culture will improve our competitive edge on the market. MHRA expects more effective and coordinated efforts in the cleaning and upkeep of the entire destination, to enhance the Product Malta experience.
The announced measure to improve the safety and security of our islands is a very important measure which will continue to underline Malta as a safe and qualitative destination. Furthermore, MHRA calls for stricter enforcement of regulations to secure a level playing field among the operators in the sector.
We consider the various measures announced in the Budget to be favourable and will contribute positively to sustain further economic growth in the year to come. MHRA reiterates that growth prospects have to be supported by a longterm, holistic and sustainable plan, based on quality and socio-economic benefits for the country.