[WATCH] Study into contribution of tourism industry launched

Tourism Minister says study will be used to improve Malta’s tourism industry

Photo: Ray Attard
Photo: Ray Attard
Tourism Minister says study will be used to improve Malta’s tourism industry • Video Ray Attard

Tourism minister Edward Zammit Lewis launched a study into the contribution of the tourism industry to the Maltese economy at the National Aquarium in Qawra earlier today.
"The study looks into the trends of the sector during this particularly successful year," Zammit Lewis said, stressing that the year 2014  had broken records both in terms of numbers and in terms of expenditure.

He added that the study was part of a chain of events organized by the ministry to strengthen the sector in the future.

"The study is part of our strategic vision towards creating new policies that aim to meet certain challenges like the digital economy and connectivity issues among others," Zammit Lewis said.

“Although according to the world tourism barometer, tourism numbers have risen all over Europe and in particular in Malta, competition is also getting increasingly more aggressive.”

Zammit Lewis explained that the study would be used to find what is already good in the industry, which generated around 500 new jobs in 2014 alone, and what needs to be improved to attain even better results in the coming years.

He also added that he felt more attention was needed in other aspects like targeting young people to study subjects related to tourism or to pursue a career in tourism.

"I also feel we need to research how to better make use of EU funds and develop new markets and niches in the country to tap into new source markets aside from the already existing markets."

Zammit Lewis added that he looked forward to the coming year and he expected more records to be broken given the already positive results achieved in 2015 so far, especially considering that we have so far only been through the shoulder months.

Economist Gordon Cordina said that the study confirmed that tourism was a multi-faceted sector which was connected to various others; in particular transport, accommodation and the food sector, wholesale and retail sector and recreation sector (including gaming) with over 30% of the jobs created during 2014 residing in these sectors.

"Tourism has generated around 20,500 jobs in the country in 2014, which amounts to 11% of jobs locally," Cordina said.

Cordina explained that the turnover for the accommodation and food sector had amounted to €0.9 billion, with 74% of it being linked directly to tourism and 11,000 jobs in the sector being created through tourism. The transport sector on the other hand had generated a €1.3 billion turnover with 23% of it being attributed to tourism. The wholesale and retail sector had generated  €1.2 billion, with 25% depending on tourism and recreation turnover reaching €2.2 billion, with 5% linked directly to tourism.

Cordina added that the study looked at various sectors and would also help in the implementation of future policies. He also referred to cruise passengers, who are estimated to have spent an average total of €21.67 million in 2014 compared to €21.16 million in 2013.

He also added that the sector had had a very palpable effect on Gozo’s economy, where the study had shown that 6,900 jobs had been generated in the private sector in relation to tourism.

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