During the presentation of certificates to destinations management companies (DMCs) and visitor attractions for obtaining the Quality Assured Seal, Minister for Tourism Edward Zammit Lewis said that the way forward for Malta to keep boosting with success is to continue emphasizing on the tourism product the country offers.
Minister Zammit Lewis extended his greetings to Conventions Malta which just after two year of being set up, it won a prestigious international recognition at the M&IT Industry Awards last Friday in London. Conventions Malta won the first prize, bringing home the Gold Award for the Best Overseas Conventions Bureau.
Minister Zammit Lewis expressed his satisfaction for the work done by DMCs and the MICE industry to attract as much conferences and events to Malta as possible. He further mentioned that tourism, being the key pillar of the Maltese economy, it provides direct employment for over 20,000 individuals and therefore “we must all seek to work together to further improve the product we offer.”
Minister for Tourism referred to Malta’s continuous success in achieving breaking record results in inbound tourism. January 2017 for the first time in history, saw over 100,000 tourists, an increase of 22 per cent of the same period last year, in a month which is normally considered low season. These results augur well for the rest of the year. Minister Zammit Lewis stated that, “these numbers are proof that Government is beating seasonality and foreigners are choosing our shores to spend their time both for leisure but also for working purposes.” In 2016 alone, those visiting the Maltese Islands for professional purposes amounted to nearly 137,000, an increase of 18 per cent from the beginning of this legislature.
With reference to the Meetings Incentives Conferences and Events industry, Minister Zammit Lewis mentioned the positive contribution by Conventions Malta which constantly works to boost Malta’s profile globally to attract more conferences and events to our country.
The reasons for foreigners to visit our islands are clearly ample. The Maltese islands offer a diverse and rich tourism product which has served as a unique background to many great events organised by DMCs, who have fully recognised the potential of our islands and have promoted it in the best and effective way possible to attract high profile and quality events. This sector of business travel has actively contributed to balancing out the distribution of visitors along the year.
In his concluding remarks, the Minister emphasised that the Government’s objective remains to take the necessary steps to ensure that the quality of our tourism product makes a leap in the right direction for the sake of all. By doing so, the Government would be safeguarding thousands of jobs as well as invest in creating more opportunities for our youths. “Surely, having a high quality product means that our country remains competitive but it also means that we would be injecting more money into our economy. Once again congratulations on your achievement and I am determined to continue working together with you all to ensure we continue on this exciting and successful journey.”