Prime Minister Robert Abela has revealed that excavation works for the new Institute for Tourism Studies (ITS) campus at Smart City will begin in the coming weeks.

He made the announcement at a pre-budget meeting with the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association (MHRA) on Monday.

Last summer, government and Smart City reached an agreement for a dedicated ITS campus to be built in the area, thus adding another capital project to the state’s portfolio.

This comes at a time when Malta’s catering sector has long complained of persistent staff shortages, in some cases forcing establishments to reduce opening hours in order to maintain a standard of service.

Prime Minister Abela said that the tourism sector has began its road to recovery this summer from the hit it took due to COVID-19, with the seat load factor, which measures occupancy, reaching 90 per cent on flights coming into the country.

Dr Abela remarked that efforts are ongoing to increase the number of flights to Malta, and underscored the importance of having a viable national airline, once again not specifically saying that it had to be Air Malta.

“Post pandemic and now throughout a war, we are constantly hearing that we need more workers in this field and this is a statement to how well our economy is growing,” Dr Abela said.

He added that while other countries are fixating on how to lower energy bills without ruining their balance sheets, Malta is working on improving the touristic experience on offer.

Featured Image:

Artist rendition of ITS at Smart City

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