Stoll Reisen chooses Malta for
The tourism sector in 2002 experienced a fall in activity
with tourist arrivals and the number of guest nights decreasing by four
per cent when compared to 2001. Gross earnings decreased by six per
cent, Tourism Minister Francis Zammit Dimech commented during a meeting
with a delegation from Stoll Reisen International of Austria.
The Tourism Minister said that following the terrorist attacks of 11
September 2001, figures released by the World Tourism Organisation showed
that in 2001, international arrivals declined by 0.6 per cent, the first
year of negative growth for international tourism since 1982. In the
same year, worldwide tourism receipts decreased by 2.8 per cent. These
figures show that this sector is passing through difficult times. But
these should also be times of reflection and consolidation. Francis
Zammit Dimech said that we should reflect on the challenges ahead of
us whilst consolidating our niche markets.
Zammit Dimech said that during the past three years, there was a drop
in tourism from Austria and Germany. The Malta Tourism Authority is
implementing programmes aimed at minimising these negative impacts.
These include the improvement of access to Malta through flight availability,
the consolidation of core markets and joint promotion with travel trade.
The contacts with Stoll Reisen International, an independent travel
agency/tour operator, form part of this strategy and are proving fruitful.
The Minister for Tourism said that he was informed that Stoll Reisen
International have in the past organised trips for senior citizens to
Mallorca, Crete, Sicily and Andalusia. These provided these destinations
with about 12,000 passengers yearly. He said that for 2003, Stoll Reisen
chose Malta after contacting MTA Vienna in July 2002. Stoll Reisen have
confirmed bookings for 6,800 visitors to Malta.
Francis Zammit Dimech said Stoll Reisen is a very important partner
in the local tourist sector. He said he was confident that through their
local agents in Malta, Gianfranco Sevaggi of TUI Malta, we can consolidate
our tourist market in Austria and Germany.
Zammit Dimech added that now that the war in Iraq is over, he was confident
that Malta will witness an upturn in arrivals. He said that the fact
that bookings were picking up and that airlines were floating 3.7 per
cent more seats for this year than last year, showed better prospects
for our tourist sector. He augured that through the participation of
all stakeholders in this sector internationally, nationally and
regionally we will achieve our targets.