“China is a very important source market,” said Malta Tourism Authority, Gavin Guilia in an interview with the Xinhua News Agency, the People’s Republic of China’s official state news agency.
Mr Guilia highlighted that they are working hard to attract more tourists from China, adding that they are pleased that the country has lifted COVID-19 restrictions, facilitating international travel.
He hoped that Europe also restores full capacity to facilitate connectivity.
“Connectivity is very important.”
To date there is no direct flights between Malta and China, with at least one stop-over required to travel between the two countries.
In 2019, Malta had received a total 9,392 tourists from the country, and while that number dropped to 2,291 in 2022, the Mr Guilia is positive that this figure will recover.
“This year, we will recover and will hopefully surpass the number of inbound tourists that we had in 2019. I'm also confident that we will welcome more Chinese tourists in 2024," Mr Guilia told Xinhua.
Malta and China established diplomatic ties in 1972, with an embassy of China established in St Julians, and a new one being built in Pembroke.
Increasing tourism figures and foreign labours are among the drivers of higher rental and property prices
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The appeal was filed by several NGOs, local councils and residents after raising around €20,000 from the public