The President of the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association (MHRA), Tony Zahra, said in July it is being forecast the country will only be welcoming 15% of the tourists the country had last year while the Malta Tourism Authority is striving to ensure that by year end 700,000 tourists will have visited the Islands. Zahra said that although the start-up will initially be slow he was optimistic that with the cooperation of all, the tourism sector will recover.
While hoteliers are making arrangements for the reopening of the airport and the commencement of the first tourists after the pandemic, Tony Zahra said the sector is eager for a recommencement of activities. Initially it will be quiet and July is expected to welcome only 15% of the number of tourists that visited during the same month last year.
He said the sector had plunged to zero level. Not a mere 5% but zero and from this we will be seeing a return to normality although the return will be slow. Last year 2.7 million tourists had boosted the economy by €2,000 million.
The MHRA President pointed out that from tourism not only hotels and restaurants were the beneficiates but also taxi drivers, karozzini owners, farmers and overall the whole population. He said the reopening of the airport was important and inevitable because without tourism the economy will stagnate.
Zahra said the MHRA is working with the Malta Tourism Authority and all those involved in the sector to attract 700,000 tourists by year’s end. Asked about the reopening of risk through airport arrivals, Zahra said that if all necessary precautions are taken there should not be any concern about risk.