‘We need to re-start tourism on an international level’ – Maltese MEP Josianne Cutajar

The European Union is sending a strong message with its vaccination and digital Covid certificates campaign. Once this infrastructure is in place, it is paramount to focus on pushing forward tourism on an international level, Maltese MEP Josianne Cutajar said.

She was addressing the Global Tourism Forum in Bodrum, Turkey.

The Maltese MEP added that there is a strong will from the European Union’s side in this regard, and proof of this is the fact that discussions have already started with third countries.

Cutajar also stated that transport as a whole, is a tool that connects not only countries, but also cultures with one another, and for this reason, transport makes it possible for tourists to move around from one country to another.

“People wish to go abroad, they wish to learn and meet new cultures, and therefore our job is to give them enough confidence and peace of mind so that this can be done in a safe and secure manner”, Cutajar said.

It is very important to increase the confidence of tourists and travellers alike, and in this regard, there are discussions taking place regarding the introduction of a European Safety Seal, so that this purpose could be achieved in an efficient manner, she said.

Cutajar also spoke about the importance of keeping certain fundamental principles central to our modus operandi while recovering from the pandemic, including environmental and technological changes that need to take place, and also connectivity.

As regards connectivity, Cutajar stated that there needs to be continuous work so that means of transport are both efficient as well as affordable. “As a person hailing from an island, from Gozo, I know what it means to use various means of transport and to spend a long time travelling in order to go to work, or to reach the centre of Europe.”

In this context, Cutajar closed with a call for countries such as Malta, and those in close coastal proximity, to make better use of sea transport. In conclusion, she also mentioned the work of the Maltese Government in this area, with the recent introduction of the fast ferry, which increased sea transport alternatives for both locals and tourists alike.

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