17 APRIL 2002
By Kurt Sansone
The Federation of Malta Hotels, Pensions and Catering Establishments has raised the issue of increased swimming pool fees with the Minister for Resources and Infrastructure Francis Zammit Dimech in a meeting. The two sides also discussed public cleanliness and waste management.
Lino Abela, president of the federation, told The Malta Financial and Business Times that since the Malta Resources Authority was set up, which falls under Dr Zammit Dimechs responsibility, a number of hotel owners have had their swimming pool licence increased.
"In some cases the rates have gone up to Lm750, which represents a tremendous hike," Mr Abela explained.
He highlighted the importance of reducing government-induced costs.
"We had problems before 11 September and the situation is still not healthy for the tourist industry," Mr Abela remarked. He identified the increase in the number of beds and government-induced costs as the prime factors for the general slowdown in tourism.
The federation, which has around 200 members representing various operators in the accommodation sector, met Dr Zammit Dimech on the occasion of his new ministerial portfolio appointment.
During the meeting the federation put forward its view that inert building waste should be dumped out at sea to create artificial islands, which would eventually be transformed into woodlands.
Mr Abela also addressed the issue of public cleanliness, especially in countryside lanes and open areas frequently visited by Maltese families and tourists.