The Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association (MHRA) which, since the arrival of COVID-19 in Malta, has been meeting with government continuously welcomes the financial and business development support announced today by government.
MHRA President Tony Zahra noted that, “the economic regeneration plan demonstrates that the Government has the right feel of the economic and social situation brought on by Covid-19 and this plan will effectively contribute to reigniting the tourism sector and the rest of the economy. The coming months will not be easy for hotels and restaurants, however, an economic stimulus of circa €900 million will definitely boost confidence in the tourism sector as a whole and augurs well for consumers, employees and all other stakeholders including investors.”
The plan is very far reaching and includes in so far as the hospitality industry is concerned:
- €200 million in tax deferrals till the end of August;
- 50% refund on electricity bills for next three months, dedicating €30million to aid businesses hit badly by the pandemic;
- 7c reduction in fuel prices from Monday 15th June 2020;
- Inwork benefit scheme to be enhanced with a €4 million investment;
- COVID-19 wage supplement for tourism workers to be paid until end of September;
- €100 voucher to everyone aged 16+. Money is to be used in hotels, restaurants, and shops to help boost local economy;
- €50 million dedicated to helping business with operating costs related to rent;
- Businesses under Micro invest will benefit from a conversion of tax credits into grants;
- The cost of business licenses for an entire year will be refunded to allow businesses;
- €5 million invested in a promotional campaign for Maltese and Gozitans businesses.
The Economic Regeneration Plan does not leave any stone unturned and is a clear demonstration that the Government has taken on board the serious difficulties faced by all stakeholders of the industry and has come up with a package that is indeed impressive.
On behalf of all stakeholders Mr Zahra expressed sincere recognition of the hard work and the efforts of Prime Minister Dr Robert Abela, the Ministry for Tourism and Consumer Affairs, the Ministry for the Economy, Investment and Small Businesses and the Malta Tourism Authority in working closely with MHRA during these extraordinary times. MHRA recognizes the difficulties that lie ahead but is fully energized to address these and overcome them in the shortest possible time in order to ensure sustainability across the tourism sector by attracting tourists to Malta as the first destination of choice.