Business in Malta’s entertainment mecca, Paceville was higher than usual during CHOGM week but still fell below the expectations of most retailers in the area, who were expecting a larger influx of foreigners.
Regular weekend trade also experienced a drop of around 55 per cent after Maltese patrons refrained from going to Paceville because of perceived tighter security.
With all the hype surrounding the CHOGM events and the build up in the preceding weeks, entertainment establishments and restaurants were expecting hundreds of additional patrons in what is traditionally a dead month for business, Business Today has learned.
“The number of additional patrons was more in the region of tens rather than hundreds,” the President of the Leisure and Hospitality Division of the GRTU, Philip Fenech told Business Today.
“Although the numbers fell below what retailers were expecting, CHOGM week gave us a good boost in a month that is otherwise very quiet,” Fenech said.
Citing his own experience, Fenech said that his establishment saw an increase of about 30 new clients every day.
“The difference can be felt now that the foreign delegates have left since the number of clients during the week has dipped to the usual trickle,” Fenech said.
But the security hype also left its toll on Maltese clientele. “During the weekend we experienced a phenomenon whereby regular Maltese clients refrained from coming to Paceville since they were under the impression that the entertainment zone was to be cordoned off because of security concerns. Over all we experienced a drop of around 55 per cent from normal weekend trade,” Fenech told Business Today.
But the GRTU leisure division president expressed satisfaction at the level of service afforded to the foreign guests during CHOGM week by the entertainment establishments.
“Patrons were impressed by the conference’s organisation and even commented on the intensive security arrangements put in place. But they also had positive remarks about the entertainment establishments. I am pleased with the standard of service offered by entertainment establishments and the GRTU has urged its members to maintain this level of service even during times of pressure,” Fenech said.
Fenech added that no major incidents were reported during CHOGM week with the only isolated case being that of a sailor who had one drink too many.