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The Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association (MHRA) has called upon the Government to take urgent action and address the various difficulties the tourism industry is facing, which risked damaging the identity and reputation of Malta as an authentic Mediterranean destination.

It noted that while heavy investment by the Tourism Ministry and the Malta Tourism Authority, and the promotional efforts of MHRA members and associates have led to attracting a record number of tourists, it asked whether tourists are satisfied with their experience in Malta.

“Is Malta delivering on its promises?,” asked the MHRA. It cautioned that it may be on some, but definitely not all.

On the issue of cleanliness and upkeep, the organisation noted that there was much to be desired and called for cleaning efforts to be taken up with a greater sense of urgency and comprehensively at a national level.

“Malta has become very shabby and dirty, and this is unacceptable if we are aiming to remain a destination of choice,” said the MHRA.

It said that cleaning, upkeep, and enforcement must be carried out across all streets of the country’s tourism zones and beaches, and not only designated areas. It also called for better protection of the sea, noting the increased maritime activity during the summer period.

“Malta needs more investment, better management, serious enforcement, and immediate action before it becomes too late.”

The second issue it wished to be addressed was concerns of activity related to road infrastructure work by the public sector and construction projects by the private sector, which it believes has turned Malta into a permanent construction site experience, creating inconveniences for locals and tourists alike.

“Malta has reached a stage where no locality or street is spared from any construction activity causing noise, dust, and aesthetic pollution. No proper central coordination and management of such activity is in place leading to chaos and long queues of traffic everywhere, all the time. We need to take the bull by the horns as the situation in our streets is in a dire state and will do nothing but put off tourists and their families and friends from ever considering coming back again to our islands,” warned the MHRA.

The third matter it wished to be addressed were issues related to energy. It informed that, as a result of the frequent power outages, many of the organisations’ members suffered financial losses in the form of lost food stock, booking cancellations, damages to equipment, and reputational damage.

It said that there were tourists who found themselves in hotels without electricity and turned to complaining on social media and leaving low scoring reviews on hotel booking platforms. Similarly occurred with restaurants.

“These restaurants lost precious peak season opportunities as they were not able to function without electric energy.”

The MHRA said that these issues negatively impact the current and future business of the country’s hotels and restaurants.

While it recognised that temperature spikes have been higher than average, the number of faults and outages have had a significant impact on the industry.

The MHRA expected proactive action to be taken that this situation would not be repeated.

“Without timely decisions and actions, we will end up in a situation where the damage caused to the image and identity of Malta as a destination becomes irreparable.”

It called on the Government to walk the talk and ensure Malta did not lose its appeal as a destination of choice.

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