14 MAY 2003

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Stoll Reisen chooses Malta for organised trips

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.

Copyright © Newsworks Ltd. Malta.
Editor: Saviour Balzan
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