Clayton Bartolo, Malta's Minister for Tourism and Consumer Protection, discusses the importance of reinvigorating the tourism industry in Malta post-pandemic and events like SiGMA on the Executive Series
In today's episode of our exclusive Executive Series, SiGMA TV sits down with Malta's Minister for Tourism and Consumer Protection, Hon. Clayton Bartolo, for an insightful interview discussing the transformation of the tourism industry in Malta, particularly in a post-COVID world.
Malta, the destination for SiGMA Europe November 2021: the beautiful, sun-soaked jewel of the Mediterranean. Historically dependant on tourism as its largest source of revenue, how are its leaders dealing with the shock halt of travel, the unexpected blow to economic stability and the biggest curveball to hit the island in living memory?
In an unprecedented year of change, Bartolo assured that Malta has a strategy in place in bid to recover the number of tourists lost by this pandemic
This is the time for us to be prepared so that when borders reopen, we won't start preparing that but we will be ready to hit the ground running.
I am not saying that we will recover all the numbers in the short term, but our aim is to reach as much as possible. At the same time we are looking at working on a long term vision and long-term strategy where we are looking at revitalising our tourism product and reviving our country for the tourists.
We are looking at attracting a different tourist base, so diversification is here for us here. We are not just relying on the traditional sectors, on the traditional markets, but we are looking at a number of new markets [...] for example, you have the U.S, Japan, and China.
Furthermore, once the hospitality and tourism industry picks up, the Minister for Tourism and Consumer Protection stresses the importance of protecting the sectors' employees and tourists
While Malta having started the rollout of the vaccine for some time now, Bartolo discusses the importance of adhering to social distancing and PPE measures: "we cannot loose sight of our target when we are nearing the end of the tunnel".
I also want our employees to have better working conditions. This is one of the main aspects which I want to work on, and I do believe that this can be achieved by providing a better product.
Those who are accustomed to the hospitality industry know that hygiene is of the utmost importance and it's also part of an improved product. [...] It's our interest and it's also our responsibility to make sure that we provide a better service, we provide a better hospitality service to all those who are visiting because that is also an intrinsic part of their experience.
Bartolo, pictured to the right at the SiGMA iGaming iGathering Malta 2020, also highlights the importance of business tourism and events tourism like SiGMA shows stating:
I want SiGMA to continue organising their events and I am very happy to note that they're also confirming other conferences here in Malta such as the Med-Tech conference which will be taking place as well in the coming years which I do believe is an important aspect for us to have.
SiGMA is the kind of name that we want to associate Malta with. And yes, I want SiGMA to continue believing in Malta just as Malta has believed in SiGMA over the past years
Bartolo goes on the discuss the significance of SiGMA shows for Malta, including AIBC, and Med-Tech saying: "These are the kind of events that I want to be associated with. We want high quality events which attract high quality tourists and I am sure that once they visit Malta for such an event, they will come back with their family to enjoy a holiday the year after".
WATCH the full interview below:
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