4. As the CEO at the MTA, what do you feel you will
contribute to the most? What are your goals and targets for
the next coming years?
One of the things which the MTA has worked on, together with the Ministry for Tourism, during the months of the pandemic, was the drafting and subsequent launch of the Malta Tourism Strategy 2021-2030. This strategy is based on three pillars: Recover, Rethink and Revitalise.
As I settle in this new role I intend to have this important document serve as MTA’s guide as it clearly outlines all the improvements needed to further enhance the tourism sector on a holistic level. At the same time it is very important to keep abreast of new trends and in very close contact with industry stakeholders in Malta and abroad.
The Recovery part of the strategy has already started, actually far faster than what was being forecast, catching many airports, airlines and even big hotel chains unprepared.
The Rethink phase is now crucial as together we have the opportunity to redesign Malta’s tourism industry to prepare ourselves to best overcome the challenges ahead with a vibrant dynamic tourism industry that moves away from investing in building new additional bedstock, that would require huge additional visitor volumes to fill, adding further burdens on the islands’ environment and infrastructure, to instead investing in quality attractions, activities and services conducive to yielding higher income into the Maltese economy and a more rewarding stay to the experiential tourist seeking to make beautiful memories on holiday.
My long term target is to achieve the objectives of the Malta Tourism Strategy and together with all partners redesign and deliver a sustainable tourism industry for the Maltese islands, firmly consolidating tourism as one of the key pillars of the Maltese islands economy.
5. What would you say your biggest challenges will be in
your new role as CEO?
This industry is never short of challenges, it is fragile but rebounds quickly. Undoubtedly there are many challenges ahead, many of which we are not able to foresee, like no one saw the impact that COVID-19 would have on our lives, or the effect that the eruption of the Icelandic volcano had on air travel a decade or so ago.
What I am convinced about, however, is that no matter the challenge, and no matter its scale, it can always be positively dealt with, when everyone works together and pulls the same rope.
In the immediate, our focus is to rebuild flight connectivity to Malta and attract a level of tourism all year round that allows profitable tourism activity throughout the year. In sequence and more importantly, beyond these quick wins, my challenge, MTA’s challenge, the Maltese Industry’s challenge as well as that of Government is to rethink and redesign the tourism product, the country we offer to prospective tourists, the country we live in, to achieve a sustainable tourism industry that is a catalyst to a better quality of life for residents and a superior holiday experience for visitors.
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