29 March 2006


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Business Today



MHRA head dismisses “illegal actions”

James Debono

Justin Zammit Tabona, President of the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association, yesterday poured cold water on rumours that his organisation will be directing its members to stop their contributions to the Malta Tourism Authority when talking to Business Today.
“I will not direct my members to do anything illegal. If there are any problems in the MTA, these should be addressed through legal means,” Zammit Tabona told Business Today.
Fortina Hotel and Spa managing director Michael Zammit Tabona has been the only hotelier so far to publicly call on hoteliers to deprive the MTA of its lifeline.
“Our union should direct all members to stop paying funds to the MTA and instead pay them to the MHRA, which shall surely make better use of them,” Michael Zammit Tabona told sister newspaper MaltaToday, last Sunday.
Michael Zammit Tabona’s point of view is also shared by others in the industry, even if they refrain from saying so in public.
On Monday the MHRA announced that the extraordinary general meeting will take place on 11 April.
The call for the extraordinary general meeting was made by the former president of the association, Winston J. Zahra, at a conference last week when a Deloitte report commissioned by the MHRA fuelled a barrage of criticism over the current state of tourism. “We are very concerned about this year's first quarter. The MHRA is being proactive as usual and will hold this meeting to address and discuss the current situation,” Zammit Tabona told Business Today.
Tabona said that hoteliers will discuss the way forward for the industry as well as low cost airlines.
“Since the government will be discussing this issue in the coming days, we augur that by that time, the government will have taken a decision.”
MHRA members will be able to present their own motions during the meeting if they inform the committee beforehand, Zammit Tabone told Business Today.

jdebono@mediatoday.com.mt



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