11 SEPTEMBER 2002

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GRTU expresses its favour for Verdala golf course

The GRTU last week once again expressed its favour for the development of the Verdala Golf Course in Rabat, explaining that several aspects of the economy would benefit from the highly disputed proposal.

The GRTU was adamant that "it is high time the authorities outline an effective action plan to make sure that our country can boast of a new level of sustainable development. This will show most clearly that Malta has decided to move from its stage of decline in tourism development and is steering ahead towards a new development stage that leads to a higher, more competitive quality resort."

Commenting on tourism, the GRTU explains, "Given that Malta depends so heavily on tourism, the GRTU has as a start, outlined the fact that comparative figures, namely for quality of service, value for money, spending per tourist, share of the German and British market in the Mediterranean, tourist satisfaction rates and return on investment, have clearly indicated that our country is strongly losing out on competitiveness, to such an extent that the situation has become highly critical.

"Earnings per visitor are on the decrease, with the result that Malta needs a higher number of visitors each year to sustain the level of investment, employment and earnings as it used to do. A situation which could easily be solved should Malta be able to attract a higher quality tourist. The GRTU strongly believes that the development of the Rabat Golf Course is one such investment, which should not be considered as a luxury, but more so as a need to sustain the new quality investment our country longs for.”

On the environment, the GRTU expressed its belief that the environment is suffering heavily from the reported decline in tourism. In a statement issued last week, the union comments, "The GRTU believes that it is each and everyone’s responsibility to take immediate decisions in the best interest of the environment. Its cry has always been that Malta can only sustain an acceptable environment by constantly increasing earnings on a national level. A more attractive environment would therefore bring about more first class tourists to our islands, leading to an additional upgrade, particularly, but not just, from all golf lovers."

Income earnings for the Rabat area, the GRTU contends, also stand to benefit from an approval for the project.

It explains, "It is a known fact that Rabat suffers from greater potential income earnings. This is all a result of a lack of major accommodation facilities available for tourists. GRTU feels that Rabat investors could and should earn more from tourism, given greater quality investment in the neighbourhood. Small businesses, like souvenir shops, craftsmen, farmers, vendors of agriculture and food products, bars, restaurants and cafeterias, gift shops, art galleries and the like, can all enjoy better income and support new investment given improved tourism earnings."

The GRTU adds that it expects government to support this private investment project and to ensure that farmers are given attractive alternatives to continue to exercise their economic activity. The authorities, it advises should also ensure that the agriculture development proposals presented by the developer are implemented.

 



Copyright © Network Publications Malta.
Editor: Saviour Balzan
The Business Times, Network House, Vjal ir-Rihan San Gwann SGN 07, Malta
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