Tourism strategy to make Malta ‘youth mecca’

Edward Zammit Lewis says DJ Annie Mac’s Lost and Found Festival in Malta next year can attract over 6,000 to the island

Thousands of young tourists can be attracted to Malta in the winter months, tourism minister Edward Zammit Lewis said.
Thousands of young tourists can be attracted to Malta in the winter months, tourism minister Edward Zammit Lewis said.

Tourism Minister Edward Zammit Lewis plans to promote Malta as a location of youth entertainment, as part of the government’s plans to attract more tourists in the winter months.

“A festival hosted by DJ Annie Mac in April is expected to attract over 6,000 youths,” Zammit Lewis said during a Budget consultation session.

The BBC Radio 1 presenter's 'Lost And Found' will take place in Malta from April 3-5 with a line-up that includes artists such as Carl Craig, Green Velvet, Jamie Jones, MK, Kaytranada and, of course Annie Mac. The festival will have eight core venues, featuring boat and beach parties running all day and night located near the accommodation.

‘Controversial’ decisions needed to secure Air Malta’s future

Zammit Lewis said big and potentially controversial decisions will have to be made to secure Air Malta’s future, citing cutbacks in staff of two weeks ago.

However, he strongly denied rumours that parts of the national airline may be sold to Air China. “Such rumours only bring about feelings of uncertainty in Air Malta’s staff,” he said. 

On a more positive note, he said the increasing popularity of Malta’s airshow could place Malta on the international map where aviation is concerned. 

He said the government wants to promote tourism as a career, and not just a summer job, but added that the tourism college (ITS) was in desperate need of restructuring.  “Courses focus too heavily on food and beverage when tourism is about far more than that.”

Development in the south

Amid environmental controversy that hotels could be built on virgin ODZ land in the south of Malta, Labour MP Silvio Parnis called for the setting up of 4 and 5 star hotels in the south of the island to “breathe life into the south”. 

He also said the south will have its first blue flag bay in 2015 and proposed that guesthouses in the south be tax-free to tourists while other stately homes be restored to their former glory.

Zammit Lewis agreed that permanent accommodation should be built in the south, while respecting the surrounding environment. However he said that the government did not yet have any concrete plans for such development. 

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