Coronavirus impact on tourism to hit Malta hard

Malta Business Bureau president says business will need state aid to cushion impact

Malta’s economy will be hit proportionately higher than other countries by the Covid-19 coronavirus’s impact on tourism, Malta Business Bureau president Simon De Cesare has warned.

“As the international lock down of people and services increases, the disproportionate burden on Maltese businesses will require serious support. Business, and by extension the livelihoods of employers and employees alike will be at risk without such support. The EU must take such specific cases into account.”

De Cesare said he welcomed the announcement that the Maltese government will shortly launch measures to support Maltese businesses impacted by the crisis.

“It is encouraging that the EU’s effort is about to be coupled with added measures by the government. These measures must be introduced swiftly so as to relieve some of the pressure from crucial sectors such as tourism and aviation, which are being stressed to the maximum in the crucial months leading up to summer; manufacturers whose supply chains and production is being disrupted and their exports dwindling; as well as financial services impacted by the uncertainty in financial markets and gaming companies with sporting events being cancelled worldwide.”

The MBB suggested that such measures could be accompanied by a relaxing of state-aid rules by the EU in order to ensure that governments may intervene where it is deemed necessary.

The Malta Business Bureau is the EU-Business Advisory Office of The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry, and the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association.