No plans’ to introduce tax on commercial boats at Blue Lagoon

Government dispels rumours that a tax will be imposed on commercial boats anchoring at the Blue Lagoon

The government has no plans to introduce a tax on commercial boats anchoring at the Blue Lagoon, Minister for Tourism Edward Zammit Lewis has told MaltaToday.

The statement follows rumours that the government would be clamping down on abuses in Comino, where operators have been criticised for rampant abuse.

“The government is not considering this option but we will be harsher to address the unacceptable situation in Comino, which is affecting marketing and tourists’ expectations,” Zammit Lewis said.

In reply to complaints raised on the overpricing and overcrowding at Blue Lagoon, the Malta Tourism Authority on Friday published a list of authorised prices in accordance with contracts signed by operators of umbrellas and deckchairs in Blue Lagoon and Santa Marija Bay.

The pricing depends on the areas within the beach. According to the list, there are three designated areas: the jetty and the outrock areas where an umbrella and a deckchair cost €5 each, and the beach area where they cost twice as much.

This means that hiring both a deckchair and umbrella should cost between €10 and €20, depending on the area chosen.

“The MTA will continue its inspections and follow legal action to ensure that the contractual obligations are being honoured. If we see that the operators keep on ignoring our warnings, we will enforce a clause to withdraw the concession,” Zammit Lewis added.

The MTA, he said, will also ensure that fines imposed are paid as soon as possible: operators have already been fined €11,500 since the beginning of the summer.

The government is also expected to consider ways how the placing of deckchairs, umbrellas and kiosks could be better organised.

 

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