Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 May, 2021 at 1:49 pm by Andre Camilleri
Whether or not Malta makes the UK’s travel green list anytime soon rests on each and every person’s shoulders, Tourism Minister Clayton Bartolo said.
Malta is set to open for tourism on 1 June, and the country was surprised to learn that it was left out of the UK’s green list on 7 May. The UK is one of Malta’s largest markets when it comes to tourism.ADVERTISEMENT
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently hinted that there might be no countries added to the green list for now, given that the Indian Covid-19 variant is creating some stress for the British islands.
Asked how positive he is about the prospect of being included in the UK’s green list any time soon, Bartolo said that this depends on how much each and every person follows the protocols that are in place, so as not to see a spike in cases.
“The announcement that the British Prime Minister made continues to place more importance on the fact that we need to be responsible. Each and every one of us needs to be responsible not only for themselves, but also for those around them,” Bartolo said.
“At the end of the day, this places the responsibility of the whole country on each of our shoulders. Each and every one of us has to be responsible. Follow the public health protocols so that our country continues to move forward in managing the pandemic.”
Malta has been gradually lifting Covid-19 restrictions, as more and more people are administered the vaccine. The authorities have been moving cautiously in order to avoid any sudden spikes in Covid-19 cases.
Regarding whether Malta had to change its tourism marketing plan since it is possible that the UK might not add Malta to the green list, the Minister said that the country was already prepared for such a scenario.
“The marketing strategy that the Malta Tourism Authority (MTA) worked on is one which considers diverse scenarios, so we were already prepared for any eventuality that might have cropped up,” he said.
Asked whether he thinks that the country depends too much on tourism and whether the country needs to diversify its economic prospects, Bartolo remarked that to have economic diversity “is always good”, but the country needs to make sure that the tourism sector remains “resilient and sustainable”, he said.
“That is why on [Monday] we announced a think tank together with the economic working groups, to ensure that the tourism sector will be resilient and sustainable in the coming years,” Bartolo said.
“We want to create careers for our teenagers for this sector to continue growing, striving.”