20,000 passengers have passed through MIA in the first week since the re-opening of the airport for commercial flights. Tourism Minister Julia Farrugia Portelli stated that although the international situation is still very unpredictable, these numbers are encouraging, as are also confirmed bookings for hotels for the coming weeks. The Minister added that it is hoped next month will also see visits from cruise liners.
In the first full week since the airport re-opened for commercial flights, the Tourism Ministry has reported that over 220 flights to and from Malta carried 20,000 passengers.
Minister Julia Farrugia Portelli met with operators of different categories of hotels and tourist establishments. The Minister noted that during the pandemic, many availed themselves of the opportunity to carry out embellishment works in preparation for offering new services, to ensure visitors to Malta experience a better tourist product and one of quality. Minister Farrugia Portelli stated that whilst internal tourism has continued at a steady pace, hotel owners are looking forward to welcoming more tourists, particularly when the airport opens up for more destinations from next week.
“A good start. The best branding for Malta is that Malta was and is a safe country. This has been confirmed by a number of tourists I had an opportunity to meet with during today,” the Minister added.
€2 million investment at Valletta Waterfront – hope that cruise liners will start calling again in August
Meanwhile, the Valletta Cruise Port management is hoping that cruise liners will start calling again from next month.
During the months when there was no activity at the Valletta Cruise Port, the company running the cruise liner terminal and owners of establishments in the area invested two million euro in new tenting. Chief Executive Stephen Xuereb explained that the tents have been specifically designed to respect the historic aspect and aesthetics of the place. Mr Xuereb added that the ultimate aim is to offer a quality experience to clients, both Maltese and foreigners.
“It is worth recalling that last year this place offered the first impression of Malta to 900,000 passengers who called at Malta on cruise liners, and we are also well patronised by local residents who come here with families and friends,” Mr Xuereb added.
The embellishment work was shown to Minister Farrugia Portelli, who visited the businesses which have started operating in recent weeks through new systems and protocols.
The Minister praised the management for availing themselves of the occasion, when business had been shut down, to improve the infrastructure as well as the tourist product. The Minister remarked that this continued to build on what had been done by the Valletta Cruise Port, which has invested some 30 million euro since taking over the facilities in 2002.