MHRA President Tony Zahra, along with MHRA Council members, held an online meeting with Maltese MEP Josianne Cutajar, who is a member of EU Committee for Transport and Tourism (TRAN) and part of the Tourism Taskforce within the same committee.
At the beginning of the meeting, MEP Cutajar expressed her gratitude for this opportunity to meet the MHRA, who is the leading association representing the hotels and restaurants in Malta. She continued by putting forward key topics debated at EU level and spoke about the importance of the Digital Green Certificates and the need for major coordination of travel measures, especially in view of the upcoming summer season.
Mr Zahra briefed MEP Cutajar about the concerns and struggles of the local hoteliers and restaurant owners, especially in the light of the recovery of the sector from the pandemic and the upcoming summer season. The strategy for reopening Malta for tourism was a key factor during the discussion, as this is crucial for the recovery of the industry. Mr Zahra remarked about the successful vaccine programme by the government which is playing a key factor to hopefully have a summer. Mr Zahra stressed on the importance of reaching heard immunity in Malta by June, “the goal in the short and long term is to make Malta a safe destination”.
There was agreement that the pandemic is a chance for tourism to be adequately recognized at EU level. MEP Cutajar reiterated her work in the institutions to ensure this happens, especially through her being a member of the tourism taskforce and the transport and tourism committee within the EP. MEP Cutajar stated that the current situation is a chance to build back better, in a more sustainable way.
MHRA Council members emphasised about the importance of the local Government’s schemes and stressed on having an adequate support at EU level especially financial assistance for pandemic recovery which will be playing an important role for the survival of the industry.