Minister pledges tourism investment in Malta’s south

Government to invest in south of Malta to increase tourist attractions

Tourism Minister Edward Zammit Lewis
Tourism Minister Edward Zammit Lewis

Tourism minister Edward Zammit Lewis announced government’s intention to promote tourism outside the zones in which it is currently concentrated, describing the areas not currently frequented by tourists as an “untapped resource”.

Zammit Lewis pledged to increase tourism-related investment in the South of Malta.

At the beginning of the year the ministry appointed a national council for tourist zones in order to “create innovative projects for areas which had been neglected for the past 20 years”, in particular St. Paul’s Bay and areas of the South of the Island.

Speaking in Valletta ahead World Tourism Day on 27 September, Zammit Lewis described tourism-related numbers and hotel occupancy levels as stable, adding that the peak months appear to be extending through September and October.

Presenting the programme for World Tourism Day, created in partnership with private enterprises, he underlined the importance of private investment in moving the economy.

“Government prepares the ground but the private sector needs to invest,” he said.

The ministry is exploring new source markets beyond Europe in the hope of attracting what it terms as “quality tourism”. 

Zammit Lewis said his ministry is striving to offer a high-quality product, describing recently opened boutique hotels in Valletta as an important development indicating Malta’s progression from a beach resort to a cultural one.

“Statistics from the MTA indicate that 93% of visitors to the Maltese Islands comment that hospitality is the most positive characteristic they remember from their experience. This is a characteristic that we must continue to embrace and protect in future,” he added.

He noted that while tourism is a highly successful and lucrative sector of the economy, the revenue is not being shared well enough and that “the spillover effect of tourism must be enjoyed by all”.

The government also has big plans for Gozo.

“Government is also working in making Gozo a destination in its own right and deserves more than day trippers,” he said. Day trippers currently make up 85% of its tourist traffic.