17 JULY 2002

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EFL students’ housing demands met by increased host family applications

By Mario Schembri Wismayer

The Malta Tourism Authority yesterday confirmed that there is no lack of host families for EFL (English as a foreign language) students in Malta and that, in fact, the rise in students over the years has been met by a rise in applications by Maltese interested in acting as host families.

Malta Tourism Authority licensing section consultant Joseph Lanzon, yesterday told The Malta Financial and Business Times, "Even though there was an increase in the influx of students coming to Malta to learn English, there was an accompanying increase in applications to host students. These applications, which go out every year, are processed by my department. Up to now the influx has not been particularly unusual.

"The English language schools also place their own adverts for host families. Host families, especially those that go in for hosting students in a big way, depend very much on the number of arrivals.

While Mr Lanzon explains that the host family market has now existed for a number of years and has been very successful, a number of students prefer finding their own alternative accommodation.

Meeting the demand from the market segment, several hotels are offering cheap rates to foreign students.

An official from an average sized St Julian’s hotel told this newspaper yesterday that they were fully booked with students until at least the end of July.

"This is the second year that we’ve had so many students. Our rates vary according to the tour operator. The number of students staying per room also has an affect on the rates we charge. Typically, four students sharing a room would pay Lm8 per head on a half board basis."

 



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Editor: Saviour Balzan
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