Valletta should not become another nightclub destination, MHRA says

The Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association is disappointed that government did not consult stakeholders before enacting a legal notice placing Valletta alongside entertainment hotspots like Paceville and Buġibba

The Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association (MHRA) is disappointed by the lack of consultation surrounding a legal notice enacted by government allowing music to be played in Valletta until 1am. 

In a statement to the press, the MHRA said that the new regulations compromise the zoning policy of the area and risks transforming Valletta into another nightclub destination.

"[This] should not be the target of anyone who has at heart the principles of sustainable tourism growth objectives," the association said. 

The legal notice, enacted earlier this month, will allow some of Valletta’s most popular streets to play music outdoors until 1am. The affected streets are popular for restaurants and bars, including Merchants Street, Old Bakery Street, Old Theatre Street, Republic Street, South Street, St Lucia Street and Strait Street. 

The seven streets are now exempt from the ban on late-night music that comes into force after 11pm for all establishments, save for the condition that the volume be kept “at a moderate level”.

The legal notice raised fears that the intensified gentrification of the capital city will push residents out.

MHRA has been consulting with the Ministry of Tourism about the new law to ensure that it will not end up as a loophole in the system which turns Valletta into yet another mass tourism destination.

It insisted that government must engage with its members to review policies related to the improvement of Valletta as a quality tourism destination in the wider context of the Malta tourism product. 

"This includes for instance the clustering of music activity along the streets of Valletta, street cleansing and waste collection, and joint marketing initiatives amongst others," it said. 

The association insisted that enforcement is critical to ensure that the spirit of the National Tourism Policy is actually translated into concrete action.