Chamber of Commerce ‘highly concerned’ over The Sun’s depiction of Malta as a party island

The Chamber of Commerce wants Malta’s tourism appeal to prioritise culture, heritage and history over partying in pitch for quality tourists

No party: Chamber of Commerce wants tourism strategy to prioritise culture, heritage and history
No party: Chamber of Commerce wants tourism strategy to prioritise culture, heritage and history

The Chamber of Commerce is “highly concerned” about international news describing Malta as a destination for tourists seeking inexpensive alcohol, legal drugs and uninhibited revelry.

The organisation said this undermined what it described as “more desirable avenues of tourism” and was contrary to government’s pledge to promote Malta as a hub for quality tourism.

The chamber was referring to an article that appeared in British tabloid newspaper The Sun a couple of weeks ago that painted an exaggerated picture of Malta as the land of debauchery.

Taking the cue from the tabloid’s caricature, the chamber reiterated its stand in favour of “quality over numerical influx” of tourists and the promotion of Malta’s uniqueness in terms of culture, heritage and history.

“Although the number of tourists visiting our islands may have increased, in real terms their spending power has decreased,” the chamber said.

It added that targeting quality went hand in hand with investment in waste collection, cleanliness, order, enforcement, clean seas and beaches, upkeep of public areas, a stable energy supply, better traffic management and addressing over-construction.

“This becomes even more relevant when one notes that Mediterranean countries that Malta competes with have registered percentage increases in bed nights which are much greater than Malta’s,” the chamber said.

It called for immediate action from the authorities to revive Malta as a destination of choice by tourists looking for quality experiences. “The preservation of our country's appeal must supersede any transient allure of becoming a mere party hotspot,” the chamber said.