Noisier Valletta at night prompts more refund requests from tourists, hotel lobby warns

MHRA calls on government to suspend and re-evaluate legal notice allowing music until 1am in several Valletta streets • Calls 'misleading and inaccurate' comments by Valletta mayor Alfred Zammit

MHRA: Valletta is becoming too loud, not fitting as a high end destination
MHRA: Valletta is becoming too loud, not fitting as a high end destination

Excessive noise till the early hours of the night in Valletta has led to an increase in complaints and compensation requests from hotel guests, the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association said.

The MHRA said that although it supports commercial activity in the capital, the “noise pollution” was negatively impacting tourism in the area.

It called upon the government to suspend and re-evaluate the legal notice which allows establishments to play music in certain areas of Valletta until 1am.

“According to feedback received, this is particular during the weekend, characterized by a chaos of loud amplified music across Valletta,” MHRA said on Wednesday.

Tourism Minister Clayton Bartolo had said that Valletta “will not become another Paceville” after residents lamented that they were ignored by the government on this matter.

The streets for which the new rules apply are: Merchant Street, Old Bakery Street, Old Theatre Street, Republic Street, South Street, St Lucy Street, Strait Street, Archbishop Street and Saint Ursula Street.

The hotel lobby called “misleading and inaccurate” the recent comments made by Valletta mayor Alfred Zammit. Zammit defended the legal notice with sister newspaper Illum, saying that the establishments were observing the law except for two particular ones.

“The style and method of entertainment being currently promoted under the watch of the Valletta Mayor contradicts efforts in positioning Valletta as a high-end destination as agreed to by all tourism stakeholders through the National Tourism policy,” MHRA said.

The lobby said that facts demonstrated that the way entertainment was being allowed was leading to a deterioration of the quality image of Valletta as unique destination in Malta.

“In the interim, MHRA appeals for a holistic plan for Valletta that satisfies the requirements of the residents and the entire business community,” MHRA said.