Malta u l-politika

Ittri ċċensurati u punti ta' riflessjoni politika.



L-akbar industrija f’Malta hija minghajr dubbju ta’ xejn l-industrija tat-turizmu. Minn din l-industrija jaqilghu l-ghixien taghhom eluf kbar ta’ Maltin u Ghawdxin ghalhekk wiehed mill-ewwel jinduna li t-turizmu ghal Malta huwa mhux biss importanti imma indispensabbli. Sar sew li din l-industrija kibret matul is-snin grazzi ghall-inizjattivi tal-investituri privati, imma wahedhom biss l-investituri ma jzommux l-industrija hajja, hemm bzonn l-intervent tal-Gvern centrali sabiex johloq strutturi ta’ ligijiet u regolamenti sabiex l-industrija tkun regolata u mhaddma b’mod professjonali. Aktar minn hekk, il-Gvern ghandu rwol importanti iehor, cioe’ dak li jara li l-prodott komplut Malti, hu tal-aqwa kwalita. Filwaqt li l-investituri f’dan il-qasam ghandhom responsabilta limitata ghan-negozju taghhom, kemm jekk bnew lukandi, appartamenti, guest houses, villaggi shah, ristoranti, bars, postijiet tad-divertiment ecc., il-Gvern minn naha tieghu ghandu l-kumplament tal-pajjiz x’jiehu hsieb u jrid jara li l-prodott shih hu tal-aqwa kwalita. Dan irid jaghmlu billi jassigura li l-ambjent ikun wiehed sabih, li l-prezzijiet ikunu ragjonevoli, li l-attrazzjonijiet tal-pajjiz jinzammu pinna, li ma jhallix lil min jabbuza mit-turisti u responsabiltajiet ohra simili. U huwa hawnhekk fejn il-Gvern Nazzjonalista ilu snin ifalli. Id-differenza fil-prodott offrut mill-privat u dak offrut mill-Gvern hija differenza kbira hafna. Huwa facli li wiehed jinnota s-serjeta u l-professjonalita tal-privat u x-xoghol dilettantesk tal-Gvern u xi kultant tal-Awtorita li hija responabbli ghat-turizmu. Il-pajjiz diga ghadda minn zmien difficli fit-turizmu f’nofs is-snin tmenin fejn kellna tnaqqis qawwi fl-ammont tat-turisti, ghalhekk kull Gvern li kelna wara dik il-krizi kellu jiftah ghajnejh ghar-rejalta tas-sitwazzjoni u jaghti prijorita assoluta lil din l-industrija. In-nuqqasijiet f’dan il-qasam huma hafna u jhammrulna wiccna mall-barranin. Gvern bil-ghaqal jaghti kaz tal-ilmenti tal-operaturi turistici li ghandhom idejhom fuq il-polz tal-industrija. Imma l-Gvern Nazzjonalista ghamlu dan? Jew kien il-Gvern stess li holoq problemi lill-industrija permezz ta’ decizjonijiet hziena li ttiehdu u/jew nuqqas ta’ decizjonijiet? Billi l-ministri Nazzjonalisti tat-turizmu matul is-snin ftahru kemm l-industrija marret il-quddiem ma jfissirx li kienu qed jirriflettu r-realta u ta’ dan hawn ruxmata provi. Infakkarkhom …


X’sabu ma’ wicchom it-turisti li gew Malta kemm ilu fil-Gvern il-Partit Nazzjonalista



In the interest of water economy tap water is sometimes turned off at periods during the day in various localities on a roster basis.

Ktieb ta’ gwida ghat-turisti jismu WELCOME

Sena 1989 (pagna 43)


The tremendous growth in tourism over the years has not been matched by a corresponding improvement in standards.

Editorjal, The Times, 12.11.94


How can we talk about promoting Malta as an up-market resort when we have such ugly sites?

Editorjal, The Times, 12.6.95


Irrispective of nationalities, British, Italian, German and French tourists alike unanimously agree: “Malta is dirty”

The Malta Independent, 24.9.95


(Tourism Minister) Dr. Refalo said he accepted the criticism about the state of the roads especially those in the vicinity of five-star hotels.

The Times, 5.2.2000


As the tourists run for their life, they must wonder what kind of place Malta is, for presumably their visit to the city is one of their first cultural outings. Some outing!

Editorjal, The Times 8.4.2002


Doesn’t anyone in government realise that those (opera house) ruins make us the laughing stock of tourists visiting Valletta? … it was a mistake to build the present city gate in 1960 and everybody said so at the time… who will remove the first stone, so we can carve his name in marble? …  the fact is that  the city entrance puts us all to shame. It gives Valletta and Malta a very bad image. Yet the government keeps postponing giving the site the radical clean-up it badly needs. Why?

Editorjal, The Times 3.7.2002


Paceville retailers, shop owners and restauranteurs are outraged by road works in the heart of Malta’s entertainment mecca in the peak tourist season.

The Malta Independent on Sunday 22.6.2003


International airlines outraged by runway closure in peak tourist season because of fireworks.

The Times 23.7.2003


Anyone who says or believes that our tourism product is good or satisfactory must be living in cuckoo land.

Frank Salt, Malta Tourism Authority’s Planning and Product Directorate Chairman

The Times 16.8.2003


Local agents Mondial Ship Agency have protested … it was unacceptable to shift cruise liners aside in favour of warships, considering the relevance of tourism to the economy. … This quay was shabby, dirty, out of the way and well below standards for tourist vessels, it said. Mondial said in a statement … “This is unacceptable as tourism, a pillar of our economy, is being set aside in favour of warships!”

The Times 11.10.2003


MHRA survey shows that 160,000 tourists criticize environment.

The Sunday Times 26.10.2003


Malta was gradually losing ground as a tourist destination mostly because of the islands’ shabbiness, poor state of the roads, and high cranes and rattling jackhammers which have transformed tourist spots into permanent construction sites.

Arnold Cassola

The Times 19.5.2004


The garden in front of the Hilton is in a disastrous state. The Hilton owners started discussions to clean up and maintain the place, imposing just one condition – that the place be closed after 11 o’clock at night. The discussions have been bogged down for over a year and in the meantime locals and tourists alike are seeing the fracas every night.

The Malta Independent on Sunday 26.12.2004


Malta is dirty, Malta is shabby and sadly, some of it is now even ugly, really really ugly. How long are we going to say it and leave it as it is? … That’s what Malta needs. An extreme makeover. … It needs it all and it needs it now. Where oh where are the surgeons and stylists?

Marisa Micallef

The Malta Independent on Sunday 9.4.2006


Hats off to whoever came up with the brilliant idea of allowing an oil platform to anchor at St Paul’s Bay, one of Malta’s prime tourist spots. I first saw this massive eyesore when I was coming back home from abroad and I couldn’t believe my eyes. It even stuck out like a sore thumb when seen from a plane. The tourism ministry should insist that it is removed immediately. While we’re at it let’s try to make an effort and do something about the blessed fish pens that are still mucking up the waters in St Paul’s Bay and Mistra.

Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando

MaltaToday 11.7.2007


The government and the tourist industry spend millions to boost tourism in Malta because the tourist industry is universally accepted as the biggest single contributor to the Maltese economy. Yet the very centre of Valletta is sabotaged in high season by unbelievably major works by the Ministry for Infrastructure. After having created filth and dust in Merchants Street for weeks on end, on Friday, July 6, workers commenced to dig up St John Street, right in front of the steps of St John's Co-Cathedral. The noise was overwhelming, the dust was oppressive and within a few minutes the cafés emptied of tourists, many of whom expressed their amazement and disgust. Even now, several days later, the street is fenced off, dust blows everywhere and work continues to disrupt. The cafés who should be enjoying their summer high to carry them through the rest of the year are operating at under 50 per cent of their expectations for this period. The knock-on effect is horrendous, waiters and cooks laid off, cash flows damaged, but worst of all by far, Valletta, the jewel capital, is made to look like just another building site. Tourists have been vociferous in their criticism. Who is responsible? What are these people thinking of? Where is the cohesion and cooperation between ministries? Where is the leadership necessary to make a Cabinet work together for the good of the country? Can marketing and PR ever hope to overcome such incredible self-inflicted damage? Is the MTA fighting a lost cause? Many people work hard to try to make a success of Malta, especially in the tourism sector, they do not deserve sabotage for their efforts from within a kamikaze government.

Michael Turner

The Times 18.7.2007


It's midday and tourists are enjoying a meal in the piazza just opposite one of Valletta's landmarks when suddenly a worker starts tearing into a nearby pavement with a circular saw, creating an enormous cloud of dust that heads right for the dining holiday makers. It was a scene from an average weekday afternoon just in front of St John's Co-Cathedral, an area which has been dug up over the past weeks to be repaved concurrently with Merchants Street. Further up the road, a large group of cruise liner passengers are happily clicking away as a tour guide flags them from Castille Place into Merchants Street. They are soon confronted with a jungle of heavy machinery and clouds of dust whipped up by the light winds. A narrow passage-way has been created on just one side of the road, but the concrete base juts out onto the path, making it practically impossible for anybody wheeling pushchairs. On the other side of the road, there is no space for commuters. In fact, a number of shops have decided to shut down for business in Valletta until the work is completed on their side of the road. Leonard Cassar, owner of Diesel, has braved the inconvenient works, even if he says sales are down by up to 50 per cent. “I welcome this project but the timing is just not right - at the moment about 75 per cent of our sales rely on tourists,” he says. Other shop owners in the area agree. A broken pavement leads to St John's Square, where cafes have had to continuously shield food and drink from the flying dust. A trail of grey slime seeps into the square. But it is not just the capital that has fallen victim to works. At Spinola, for instance, the main bus stop has been jack-hammered and reduced to rubble for days. A foreign woman with a pushchair gives a nod of disgust - she has no choice but to wait for the bus in the road.

The Times 3.8.2007


The head of Competitiveness Malta, Margrith Lütschg-Emmenegger, told the Prime Minister yesterday … “Walking through the streets, particularly Paceville, I don't see the scene I would want my friends or tourists to come across.” In connection with tourism, she referred to a recent trade mission to China that she attended, pointing out that the promotion of the islands to “cheap tourists” which seems to have taken place during that visit was not compatible with the official stated goal of marketing Malta as a high-class destination.”

The Times 5.9.2007


Pigsty: This is the most suitable noun to describe parts of Buġibba nowadays. The prospect of a cleaner Buġibba thanks to the return of thousands back to their winter homes and the smaller numbers of tourists, brought absolutely no relief last month. This is the scene on a Monday morning in Triq Il-Ġifen: Cans of beer "adorning" the sides of the pavements, dog poop ceremoniously splashed all over the walkway, cigarette butts next to a new, popular bar (as if the ashtrays were emptied on the streets), the odd (or shall I say common) stray cat feasting on what's left of the rubbish after garbage collection and then the cherry on the cake - bigilla, galletti and ġbejniet all disintegrating at the corner between triq Il-Ġifen and Triq il-Mistrieħ. This is not an exaggeration, this is the type of pigsty Buġibba is turning to. This is what this country describes as a "tourist area", this is the impression we are giving our visitors, this is Brand Malta! Carmelo Mifsud Bonnici on Bondi+ recently defined a "crisis" to be a situation which gets out of hand. Well then in Buġibba we are in a crisis or nearing one as our council has apparently lost control (if it ever had any) over this situation and nothing it can say could convince us otherwise! The clock is ticking and people like me are up to their noses with this disgusting state of affairs, so it's either action to solve this littering mess, or else the local council will join the dog poop and garbage in the streets come the next local election!

Albert Gauci Cunningham, Bugibba

The Times 11.11.2008



Decizjonijiet tal-Gvern Nazzjonalista li laqtu hazin lit-turizmu

It was for this reason that the Federation (Federation of Hotels, Pensions and Restaurants) could not understand what it called the “draconian” measures contemplated in the (1992/93) budget which not only did not protect the tourism sector but endangered it by creating new obstacles.

The Times 7.12.92


The 1993 budget... does not help the tourist industry from changing their opinion that the industry was singled out to be repeatedly bashed... The association could not help feeling frustrated at the bad treatment it received from the government...budget measures were introduced without consultation and the MHRA was being ignored.

Albert Muscat Inglott, President of the MHRA

The Times 18.12.92


Number of tourist divers nosedives because of vat.

The Times, 25.7.95


The introduction of VAT and the removal of the forward buying rate had damaged Maltese tourism and operators were turning to other countries giving a better deal.

Charles Vella, sid Qawra Palace Hotel

The Times, 3.8.95


The GRTU has contended all along that there has never been any logical reason whatsoever  why VAT should have been imposed on tourism.

Vincent Farrugia, director general GRTU

The Times 7.8.95


The Malta and Gozo Restaurants Association said a further increase in the VAT rate on tourism would deliver a death blow to the industry.

(VAT zdiedet minn 15% ghal 18% fil-budget)

The Times 21.11.2003


Malta has been dropped from the itineraries of many Mediterranean cruises this year because the island is joining the EU. On 1 May it loses its duty-free status. Under European law, cut-price concessions are permitted only on ships putting in to ports outside the EU at least once on their voyage. This will hit British cruise passengers who enjoy the twin benefits that Malta has - a 200-year connection with the UK, and islanders who speak English. But it is worse news for Malta, which welcomed 200,000 day trippers on about 180 ship visits last year, and where tourism is by far the biggest industry.

The Independent (Londra), 21.2.2004


Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association president Winston Zahra yesterday criticised the government’s decision to slice off a substantial chunk of the Malta Tourism Authority’s budget, describing the decision as “a big mistake”.

The Malta Independent 17.6.2004


The Gozo Business Chamber and the Gozo Tourism Association feel that the decision to stop the helicopter service between Malta and Gozo will have an adverse effect on tourism, which is the prime industry in Gozo. Tourism on Gozo is very sensitive as well as very seasonal, they said in a joint statement, and the fact that the service has been stopped at this crucial time of the year will further aggravate the problem of accessibility.

The Malta Independent 5.11.2004


FATTA (Federation of Associations of Travel and Tourism Agents) criticised the government for continuing to avoid dialogue with smaller constituted bodies “but merely uses them for political propaganda when needed.”

The Times 27.11.2004


During a press conference held at the party's headquarters in Sliema, Alternattiva Demokratika - The Green Party expressed its concern over the lack of direction shown by government in the tourism sector. … AD deems that far more could be done by government and its authorities to improve product Malta and give a boost to marketing initiatives particularly as the country is entering the high season.

SLIEMA, Malta (di-ve news) - May 14, 2005 - 1740CEST -


The Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association said it regretted to note that the prices of some of the most essential fuel products have been raised again, albeit marginally. “At a time when the industry is going through a bad patch, no matter how small an increase in operational costs is, it will have a negative effect on the performance of the operators,” the association said. … Hotels, it said, have had to contend with the full surcharge until reaching their respective capping level during a difficult winter period due to low occupancies. Restauranteurs had also to put up with the increase in electricity surcharge during one of the worst winters ever. MHRA president Justin Zammit Tabona said … the government ignored the recommendations made last year to have a hedging mechanism in place to smoothen the upward spiral of oil prices. All hikes in electricity and oil prices since November have had to be borne by the hoteliers as no tour operator would consider any changes to the prices contracted over 18 months ago.

The Times 6.5.2006


The Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association said yesterday that any extension of boundaries for further development would be detrimental to the tourism industry.

The Times 22.5.2006


The government has promised time and again that such work would be avoided, even banned, during summer months, yet it keeps recurring, year in year out. Early in July, the Tourism Ministry had issued a statement saying it would be prohibiting road and trench works by government departments in tourist zones between July and September. But the work in Valletta, and elsewhere, continued uninterrupted, sometimes even increasing in intensity. No excavations or rock cutting work will be carried out during these months, the ministry had said. Questions sent to the Prime Minister, as the head of the inter-ministerial committee for tourism, concerning this apparent lack of coordination, remained unanswered. The Malta Tourism Authority pointed out that it had made a series of recommendations for construction management regulations, which have still not been launched. Primarily, the MTA insisted on a ban on demolition, excavation, and rock cutting works between June and October. However, the regulations specify the need for dust control, such as cleaning the area under construction on a daily basis and screening the construction site from its surroundings. None of these are being implemented on the paving works in Valletta. The wire mesh used on the Valletta project was recommended by the Works Department for safety purposes - the authority commented - but it offers no screening from the dust being generated through excavation.

The Times 3.8.2007


“The options presented last Wednesday will be extremely damaging to the tourism industry and furthermore MHRA cannot understand government’s admission that no social and economic impact assessment was necessary in the light of the new tariffs being proposed,” the association said. “MHRA is convinced that the proposed measure will increase operational costs three-fold. There will be a substantial increase in costs due to the increase in tariffs themselves, the increase in cost of materials purchased from local manufacturing firms that will also have their costs increased and the impact of upward pressures on wages. “Ultimately the MHRA believes that such an upward pressure on costs at a time when the industry is bracing itself for a potential drop in demand due to the international economic situation, is going to lead to very serious problems in the industry. The MHRA predicts the loss of a high amount of jobs and closure of a number of hotels that simply will not be able to operate any more under this new tariff structure. The consequence on many small businesses that also depend on hotels will be very substantial.



“The utility tariffs proposed by the government have been described by the President of the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association as being “shock treatment of the highest degree.” Kevin DeCesare told an extraordinary general meeting of the association today that the government should withdraw its proposals and engage in real consultation with the social partners. “The MHRA is upset about what was done but equally by the way it was done. The way this matter was handled shows a great deal of disrespect for industry,” Mr DeCesare said.



Mistoqsi jekk jaqbilx mat-taxxa ġdida li daħħal il-Gvern fl-aħħar budget li mill-1 ta’ Jannar 2010 kull turist iħallas €0.50 għal kull lejl li jorqod Malta, (Robert) Arrigo jinsisti li din kienet ġennata.

ILLUM 22.2.2009


He (MHRA President Kevin DeCesare) also strongly criticised plans for the imposition of a 50c tax on every hotel tourist per day as from next year. “This is one of the most ill-thought impositions, especially in the current scenario. Not only are we sending out the wrong message to the tourist, but this seems to be sending out a totally different message overall, namely that where other industries are getting a helping hand, and quite rightly so, we are getting clobbered with this ridiculous tax, under the pretext that the funds would go towards marketing the Islands.” “Mr DeCesare said the MHRA would be advising its members to refuse to collect this tax. Thursday, 26th March 2009 - 16:13CET


The new bed tax being imposed on visitors for every night spent in Malta is "very stupid and untimely" and will be hammering another nail in the coffin of the language teaching industry, according to the language schools' federation. The Federation of English Language Teaching Organisations of Malta (Feltom) has joined other tourism organisations opposing the bed tax being introduced in April. Contacted yesterday, Julian Cassar Torreggiani, a Feltom board member and owner of a language school, said the tax would not only affect hotels but also host families and self-catering apartments, which were widely used by language students.

The Times 8.1.2010


The Gozo Tourism Association has questioned why construction works are taking place in popular Gozitan tourist resorts over the peak summer period. Restaurants and other tourist establishments are being negatively affected by works on Xlendi road, according to the association. It deplored the construction being carried out in “the only parking space available in Marsalforn”. “This ill-timed construction of the parking retaining wall is causing a lot of inconvenience to the numerous self-catering apartments around the area,” it said.

The Times 24.7.2010


The MHRA has designed as “offensive” the news that government wants to charge higher bus fares for non-Malta ID holders – i.e. tourists. The Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association said it strongly opposed the selective targeting of the tourist industry for increases in charges - whether coming from government or from a private company. “The MHRA believes that if this measure is implemented it will cause tremendous damage to the industry, as it sends a clear message that tourists are there to be fleeced. In addition the MHRA reminds government that only last August, it had advised MHRA that according to the Attorney General, the agreement government had reached with MHRA for the introduction of an eco-contribution, which would have been solely paid by tourists, could not be implemented, citing discrimination under EU regulations if applied exclusively to tourists (non Maltese ID holders) and not to Maltese ID holders. In fact this is why the VAT was than raised, government subsequently said.” “During the launch of the new public transport system last Saturday, it was announced that tourists and anyone who fails to present a local ID to buy a bus ticket will have to pay higher fares. The parallels between this system and that of the proposed eco-contribution are obvious. The MHRA cannot but help question this inconsistency.” The MHRA said that in the past it was bus drivers who fleeced tourists and that the government now appeared to be institutionalising this practice. “The MHRA finds this decision discriminating and offensive to visitors,” it said. -

Current Affairs -- 09 November 2010 -- 12:20CEST


The public transport service is harming the tourism industry and businesses, the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association charged yesterday, requesting an urgent meeting with the transport authority over the matter. The MHRA said it wanted to “seek solutions and assurances of immediate improvements”. Tourists were returning home with very bad experiences, it said, insisting the service was disrupting business during the peak season, leading to losses and additional costs. The association is calling on Transport Minister Austin Gatt, who “ultimately has to assume the responsibility for this”, to urgently address the deficiencies and inconveniences, and to see that changes to the routes take place immediately.

The Times 20.7.2011



Kliem iebes kontra l-Gvern Nazzjonalista



The Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association (MHRA) yesterday took a swipe at the government which, it says, is crippling the tourist industry.

The Times 2.7.93


The Malta Paceville Hotels and Restaurants Association has called on the Prime Minister to replace Parliamentary Secretary for tourism Joe Psaila Savona.

The Times 9.8.95


The former president of the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association, Winston J. Zahra, yesterday described hotel business in the first three months of this year as “a wash-out”, lambasting the manner in which the government and the Malta Tourism Authority are handling tourism. Mr. Zahra said certain tourist operators were considering diverting as much as 10 to 20 per cent of their markets elsewhere, before adding that big names are “considering pulling out of Malta altogether”.

The Times 22.3.2006


Since it was the one which caused it, for the most part, it is now high time the government intervenes and sorts out the mess that has been allowed to creep into the tourism sector. … the government is finding its interventions in the field have led to situations where it just does not know what the way forward is. … the government has and is contributing to the confusion and the mess rather than helping to sort things out. … The government … needs to take a long cool look at its efforts over the years, hopefully understanding first where it went wrong and how it can avoid going wrong again. … there is so much it must do before telling others what to do with their investment. … it is worse than useless trying to bring in low cost carriers when your travel charges are the highest in Europe.

Editorjal, The Malta Independent on Sunday 9.4.2006


The Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association said the new tourism incentives launched by the government on Monday were not enough to breathe life back into the industry. … The association's members were … unanimous in their stand that these were half-baked measures.

The Times 12.4.2006


The proposals announced earlier in the week to boost tourism clearly reflect that the government is not fully conscious of the extent of the sector's problems.


The Times 15.4.2006


If the government thinks that its proposals will stimulate demand, then we hope that it is seeing something that we aren’t… The GRTU is not alone in voicing its concerns. If these hoteliers are unhappy, then there must be something wrong and the government cannot continue to ignore the signs coming from the industry. … the government appeared to have stuck its head in the sand and did not want to listen to the industry operator’s concerns.


The Malta Independent 18.4.2006


The argument that anybody who doesn't agree with Dr (Austin) Gatt's policy of “no low cost at any cost” is trying to destroy Air Malta, is nonsense and it should stop. If the government does not have the will to think out of the box to stop the malaise that has afflicted our industry, the consequence will be dire for all of us.

Ian De Cesare

The Times 5.5.2006


The cabinet has every single operator in the tourism industry pressing the emergency button for attention and action, but the cabinet pretends that nothing is happening.

Daphne Caruana Galizia

The Malta Independent 11.5.2006


A leading hotelier insisted yesterday that people in positions of responsibility who do not achieve targets they set themselves should resign, “and not stay around as if nothing happened”. The former president of the Malta Hotels and Restaurant Association, Winston J. Zahra, was speaking after a press conference held to announce the first quarter results for the tourism sector. Mr Zahra said that there is no way that the target of 70,000 more tourists coming to Malta this year could be achieved, adding that nobody at government level seemed to be taking any notice. “Last year, I had predicted that the 1st quarter would be a washout and it is sad to note that the results are as expected. I fail to understand how the minister and Malta Tourism Authority chairman can remain silent on their non-performance because in every country, if you do not achieve targets you resign.” 

The Malta Independent 23.6.2006


Sorry, Francis, you must go  … there comes a time when a person must understand that, for that particular post or in that particular time-frame, he has given his all and has seen all he undertook turn to ashes. That is the time to offer to stand down and rest, and recuperate. These are hard days for our tourism. … The industry as a whole is suffering, not just hotel operators and owners (in the three and four star category most of all) but all those who benefit from the industry’s wide spill-over effects. Ever since he inherited a ministerial responsibility already in crisis, the minister has worked hard to try and turn things around. But anything he touched has turned out to be a greater failure than what it set out to replace. … The story of his repeated failures is instructive: you cannot change a government body by asking for a report and then, (well, according to MHRA at any rate) not implementing it. Nor can you change a body just by changing its top management. … there are his very own mistakes to consider. To fly in the teeth of a clear government decision that a chairman must not be CEO carried risks. To accept the chairman’s resignation and continue to pay him till the end of his contract was insane. To allow certain mistakes, such as the Brand Malta gimmick and the CNN advertising spend certainly did not contribute to turn the situation around. Where the minister really failed was his almost disdain to address the issues down at ground level, at that level where they impact on the tourists’ perceptions of Malta.

Editorjal, The Malta Independent on Sunday, 20.8.2006


MHRA members are suffering the consequences of wrong decisions being taken by the Tourism Ministry, said the GRTU, adding that the association is one of the ministry’s partners, so it too is responsible for the situation. The chamber insisted that those responsible for the disastrous situation in the tourism sector must resign. The confusion in the Malta Tourism Authority caused by the Tourism Ministry has negatively affected a market that was already going downhill, said the GRTU.

The Malta Independent 21.3.2007


Il-GRTU titlob lill-Prim Ministru biex jiehu f’idejh direttament il-Ministeru tat-Turizmu

Fil-laqgha li l-MHRA sejhet biex thabbar ir-rizultati tat-turizmu fl-2006 u b’mod partikolari fl-ahhar 3 xhur ta’ l-2006, id-Direttur Generali tal-GRTU Vince Farrugia iddikjara f’isem il-Kunsill Nazzjonali tal-GRTU, li l-membri tal-GRTU mhux ser joqoghdu aktar ghal din is-sitwazzjoni ta’ krizi f’settur hekk importanti bhat-turizmu. F’isem il-GRTU Vince Farrugia appella lill-Prim Ministru biex jiehu f’idejh direttament il-Ministeru ta’ Turizmu. Vince Farrugia sostna li bhal m’ghamel sewwa l-Prim Ministru li ha f’idejh il-Ministeru tal-Finanzi meta kien hemm krizi fil-Finanzi Pubblici, jaghmel sewwa hafna issa jekk jiehu f’idejh il-Ministeru tat-Turizmu. Il-Ministeru tal-Finanzi issa jista’ jghaddih f’idejn l-Onor Tonio Fenech u Dr Lawrence Gonzi jikkoncentra aktar fuq it-Turizmu ghax f’dan is-settur hemm krizi li l-Ministru Francis Zammit Dimech hu inkapaci li jsolvi. Fit-twegiba li ta l-Ministru tat-Turizmu ghall-kritika tal-GRTU, wera b’mod car kemm hu maqtugh mir-realta’ u kemm mhux qed ihoss ir-rabja kbira li tezisti fost is-sidien tal-intraprizi u l-haddiema li l-hobza taghhom tiddependi mit-turizmu. Ir-risposta tal-Minsitru tat-Turizmu issahhah it-talba tal-GRTU lill-Prim Ministru biex Dr Lawrence Gonzi innifsu, jidderigi l-Ministeru tat-Turizmu direttament huwa. Il-GRTU issostni li jekk il-Prim Ministru ma jiccaqlaqx fuq din it-talba ikun ghal darb’ohra qed juri bic-car li huwa insensittiv ghal dak li qed jghidu l-maggoranza tal-Maltin.

Stqarrija ghall-Istampa Nru. 426/07 15.3.2007


The Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association has criticised the government for allowing so many areas to become shabby, especially when the private sector was making such efforts with regards to its own tourist product. “It is pointless imposing high standards on hotels if they remain surrounded by shabbiness, it is pointless to regulate restaurants if they are faced with uneven pavements and it is equally pointless to regulate traffic and vehicles if they constantly plunge into potholes,” it said. “…the public sector, which by its very nature should enforce and maintain these standards and regulations, falls well short of obtaining the desired results out of its own organisations. This is evident in the present poor state, shabby and untidy appearance of many areas around Malta and Gozo.

MHRA slams “shabby Malta” 

by Vanessa Macdonald -

Current Affairs -- 23 February 2009 -- 15:35CEST



Kummenti ohrajn fuq is-sitwazzjoni tat-turizmu



The tourism industry appeared to be going through a crises.

Dr. Michael Mallia (RACA secretary general)

The Sunday Times, 21.4.96


One of the more worrying characteristics of our economy during the past two years (1995 & 1996) has been the decline of our tourist industry.

Editorjal, The Times 30.1.97


Some time in June (1996) the decline in tourist arrivals became a matter of some concern.

Editorjal, The Times 1.3.97


The future scenario of the tourism industry was not too bright.

MHRA president Joseph Preca

The Times 22.11.2000


MHRA president Winston Zahra described the tourism situation as very worrying and he expressed doubts over the methods being used by the National Statistics Office to compile tourism figures. Bookings for winter together with the budget proposals would offer little reprieve to the sector, Mr. Zahra said.

The Times 7.11.2003


The Federation of Associations of Travel and Tourism Agents expressed its serious concern about the current state of the local tourism industry.

August 02 2004 1830CET Di-ve news


The Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association feels strongly that the stagnant results obtained in tourism in the first four months of this year are a warning sign to the industry and the country as a whole.

The Malta Independent 4.6.2005


The tourist experience here is not a good one.

Marisa Micallef

The Malta Independent on Sunday 9.4.2006


Instead of an upswing, the industry is going through a downswing, with hoteliers claiming the authorities had not been reading the situation correctly. Who, then, is reading the situation correctly? Can Malta afford to drag its feet any longer over low-cost carriers? Have we not had enough time to decide over this? The MHRA official was right when he said that, given the current situation, “if we want low-cost carriers to start operating in Malta next winter, every day is a day lost. So we need to move as fast as possible; we do not have weeks and months to discuss the issue”.

The Times 1.7.2006


The Bugibba Holiday Complex, which forms part of the Island Hotels group, will close between November and May after a string of poor winters, The Times has learnt. Island Hotels Group director Winston Zahra confirmed the news, pointing out that the decision had been taken following four consecutive poor winters “...we could not sustain yet another bad winter especially with the way things are looking for winter 2006/2007,” he said.

The Times 9.9.2006


The staff of the five-star Crowne Plaza hotel, which the government recently sold to a private developer, were in for something of a shock when they turned up for work on 8 January and were grouped into teams of builders and painters, plumbers and carpenters, electricians, seamstresses and security guards. The 120-odd employees, many of whom are qualified and highly experienced in the tourism industry, who had been assured that the site’s new owners would be retaining them once it was handed over, are now engaged in various forms of manual labour such as dangerous demolition and construction work.

The Malta Independent on Sunday 21.1.2007


On the tourism figures, Mr Formosa Gauci (president of the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association) said that the original government forecast for 2005 to 2007 was a growth of 150,000 visitors but to date, “with ten and a half months to go, we stand at minus 30,000. There is therefore still a very long way for the industry to get back on its feet”.

The Malta Independent 15.2.2007


Tourism Minister Francis Zammit Dimech ended up having to defend himself from fellow Nationalists, particularly MP Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando, during a party activity in St Paul's Bay yesterday. The back-bencher said tourism needed a new injection of energy on the level the government was showing in the case of the IT and pharmaceutical sectors. Dr Pullicino Orlando warned that euphoria over tourism projections for the coming months could breed dangerous complacency. Dr Pullicino Orlando complained of a weak approach to certain issues, which, he said, undermined one of Malta's most crucial sectors. It was high time that disciplinary measures to deter abuse were introduced and enforced whenever necessary, he insisted. … Dr Pullicino Orlando stressed the lack of coordination in certain levels.

The Times 7.5.2007



Jien ma nemminx fil-kumbinazzjonijiet. F'April 2006 kont qieghed nifli l-website tal-Awtorita’ Maltija tat-Turizmu. Dhalt fit-taqsima tal-istatistika. Sibt fost affarijiet ohra, statistika li ma ghogbitnix. Se nghid ghaliex.




Din il-graph t’hawn fuq jekk thares sew lejha tara li statistika ghas-sena 1996 m’hemmx. B’hekk min jara din il-graph jiehu l-impressjoni li t-turisti taht Alfred Sant fl-1997 fil-fatt naqsu biex imbaghad fl-1998 it-turisti zdiedu taht il-PN. Li m’hemmx f’din il-graph hija l-istatistika tal-1996 li suppost kellha turi TNAQQIS fit-turzmu minn 1,115,971 (1995) ghal 1,053,788 (1996) tnaqqis ta’ 62,183 turist. Dan minhabba li l-industrija tat-turizmu kienet sejra lura hekk kif wiritha l-MLP meta tela’ fil-Gvern fl-1996.


Imma t-turizmu taht Dr. Sant irpila ghax fl-1997 it-turisti zdiedu b’mhux anqas minn 57,373 fuq l-1996 imma jekk thares lejn ic-chart dan ma jirrizultax anzi tahseb li t-turisti taht Dr. Sant fl-1997 naqsu.


Prosit tal-Awtorita tat-Turizmu x’mossa dik!!




Il-Kaz tac-Chairman tal-Awtorita tat-Turizmu

Romwald Lungaro Mifsud yesterday afternoon said he will be stepping down as Malta Tourism Authority chairman at the end of August. During a press conference held soon after the National Statistics Office announced a drop of over eight percentage points in tourist arrivals in May, Mr Lungaro Mifsud said his decision to resign was not motivated by the rough patch the industry was going through. … Mr Lungaro Mifsud said he had already tendered his resignation in April, but Tourism Minister Francis Zammit Dimech had asked him to reconsider his decision. …  “It was never my intention, nor was it even on the cards, for me to occupy this position ad aeternum,” he said, explaining that his term had been of three years. … As recently as last week, Mr Lungaro Mifsud dismissed calls for his resignation by Island Hotels Group director Winston J. Zahra during a presentation of the Malta Hotels and Restaurants' hotel survey for the first quarter which reported higher winter losses compared to the same period in 2005.

The Times 29.6.2006


Loud and repeated cheers could be heard coming from behind the closed doors of the Corinthia San Gorg on Friday where MHRA was holding an extraordinary general meeting. Once the meeting was over, however, and members came out to meet the sole journalist door-stepping the EGM (not me), they became coy about what they were cheering about. For the record, they could only speak about low cost airlines. Off the record they spoke about the resignation of Romwald Lungaro-Mifsud as chairman of MTA, about which they were, once they were off the record, jubilant. … Off the record, however, other MHRA members were scathing about Mr Lungaro-Mifsud. Sources told this newspaper that Mr Lungaro-Mifsud’s resignation was indeed discussed during the EGM and MHRA will be making a statement about it in the coming days because it did not want to confuse the two issues. Pressed, some MHRA members described the “Mission Accomplished” statement as “ridiculous bullshit”. “How can he say that the mission has been accomplished when the restructuring exercise at MTA is far from being completed and tourism numbers have remained stagnant despite the government’s self-imposed commitment to raise them?”

The Malta Independent 2.7.2006


Kumment ta’

Ir-rizenja tac-Chairman tal-Awtorita tat-Turizmu giet fi zmien ta’ krizi fit-turizmu. Ovvjament is-Sur Lungaro Mifsud ma qalx li rrizenja minhabba din ir-raguni anzi qal li lesta x-xogholu. Stramba kif s-Sur Lungaro Mifsud irrizenja sentejn qabel intemm il-kuntratt tieghu. Anzi l-Ministru Zammit Dimech kien qallu sabiex jibqa fil-kariga. Ghal dawn ir-ragunijiet ir-raguni ghar-rizenja tac-Chairman m’hijiex kredibbli u jista jkun li saret sabiex jidher li xi hadd ha responsabilta ghal-krizi fit-turizmu.


Il-Gvern ikompli jaghtiha ghal-hela.


The Malta Tourism Authority's chairman and chief executive Romwald Lungaro Mifsud will continue to pick up his Lm25,000-a-year salary until the end of March despite the fact that he is stepping down from the post at the end of this month. During this period Mr Lungaro Mifsud will also retain the use of a company car - without the services of his chauffeur - and have his mobile phone bills paid by the MTA. Members of the tourism industry are believed to have been outraged by the news which was confirmed to them yesterday during a stormy meeting to discuss the tourism situation with Tourism Minister Francis Zammit Dimech. When contacted Dr Zammit Dimech said the amount (to be paid to the outgoing chairman), about Lm12,000, would not make the “slightest difference” to the tourism budget, adding that anyone that was making an issue of it was being vindictive. “The government will make up the amount if necessary.”

The Times 12.8.2006



The new chairman of the Malta Tourism Authority, Sam Mifsud, believes the first stage of the Brand Malta campaign designed to boost tourism is a “relative failure”. … Under the current agreement the MTA engages Mr Sinding's services at a rate of €30,000 per month, renewable every month. … Mr Sinding sounded shocked when contacted: “I find it very serious that you are speaking to me about a letter addressed to me which I have never received,” he said. The letter referred to his public admissions about the campaign. In an interview with The Times last month he had said: “We might have used language that wasn't accessible to everybody. In hindsight, it might have been a better idea to talk about the core values.” A campaign by an international consultant of Mr Sinding's stature should not require “rethinking... in hindsight”, Mr Mifsud wrote in his draft letter. … The Brand Malta campaign has so far been launched locally stressing three messages - heritage, diversity and hospitality - that the authority feels will give the island an edge over other destinations. It includes images, a new brand logo, print advertising, short films and a host of other applications. So far it has drawn far more public criticism than support.

The Times 12.9.2006


Kumment ta’

Jista l-gvern jghidilna meta se jieqaf iberbaq bl-addocc flus il-poplu? Lil Sinding tawh paga ta’ Lm429 KULJUM, le dan mhux zball imma Lm429 KULJUM. U x’ha l-poplu minn dawn il-flus? … kampanja li c-chairman stess tal-MTA qal li kienet RELATIVE FAILURE.


Filwaqt li l-poplu l-anqas biss ixomm Lm429 fix-xahar anke jekk jissallab, ahseb u ara kemm se jaqlaghhom kuljum, ghal-barrani l-flus mhux problema anke jekk taghhom niehdu biss xi falliment.




Jizdiedu l-appelli biex Francis Zammit Dimech jirrizenja.





Francis Zammit Dimech ferhan se jtir bghat kartolina fid-djar f’Awwissu 2007 jiftahar kemm gew turisti. Ferhan immens, il-Ministru ftahar li kien inkiseb rekord ta’ turisti fl-ewwel seba’ xhur tal-2007 u kien record fl-ahhar sitt snin. Interessanti wiehed jinnota li Zammit Dimech qieghed iqabbel in-numru ta’ turisti ma’ snin  taht Gvern Nazzjonalista jigifieri qieghed iqabbel ma’ taghhom stess. U ferhan se jtir Zammit Dimech irid lil Maltin ikunu jafu b’dan ir-“rekord”. Stramba kif il-PN qieghed iqabbel lilu nnifsu mieghu nnifsu!! Normalment iqablu lilhom innifishom mal-MLP. U ghax din id-darba m’ghamlux l-istess? It-twegiba tohrog mill-fatt li l-PN jista jifrah biss meta jqabbel mieghu nnifsu ghax jekk naraw kemm gew turisti fl-istess perjodu (Jannar-Lulju) tas-sena 1998 meta fil-Gvern kien hemm il-Labour taht Alfred Sant insibu li n-numru ta’ turisti li gew kienu 6,223 AKTAR minn dawk li gew f’din is-sena “rekord” taht il-PN. Hekk hu. Bezghu iqabblu mal-Labour, ghax ir-rizultati taht il-labour kienu ahjar minn taghhom allura biex jifirhu b’xi haga qablu lilhom innifishom maghhom stess!!







(il-lukandi li huma msemmija hawn taht kienu maghluqin meta gew inkluzi f'din il-lista)



Adelphi Hotel (Gzira) u Midas Hotel (Sliema)


Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza (Sliema) u Nolinda Hotel (St. Julians)


Forum Hotel (St.Andrews) u White Rocks Holiday Complex (Bahar ic-Caghaq)


International Club Hotel (Bugibba) u Carolina Hotel (Bugibba)


Limelight Hotel (Bugibba) u Xemxija Bay Hotel (Xemxija)


Blu Mar Hotel (Xemxija) u Hotel Les Lapins (Ta' Xbiex)


Hotel Pandora (Xemxija) u Bugibba Holiday Complex (Bugibba)


Mistra Village (Mistra) u Mgarr Hotel (Mgarr Ghawdex)


Primera Hotel (Bugibba) u Jerma Palace Hotel (Marsascala)


Hotel Wignacourt (Birkirkara) u Hotel Springfield (Bugibba)


Hotel Lapsi (St. Julians) u Riviera Martinique Hotel (Ghajn Tuffieha)


Grand Hotel Verdala (Rabat) u Palm Court Hotel (Qawra)


Hotel Santa Maria (St. Paul's Bay) u Bernard Hotel (St. Julians)

Bel Sol Hotel (Qawra)

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