12 July 2006


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Business Today



Minister seeks consultation over new MTA chairman

Matthew Vella

Tourism Minister Francis Zammit Dimech is meeting with stakeholders in a bid to find a suitable candidate for the chairmanship of the Malta Tourism Authority.
Following the resignation of Romwald Lungaro Mifsud, who spent 15 months at the helm of the MTA, Zammit Dimech has asked hoteliers and business associations to forward their preferences for the authority’s leadership.
A meeting with stakeholders was held yesterday, Business Today can reveal.
Zammit Dimech’s decision to seek consultation also comes after Winston Zahra, former president of the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association, called for both the chairman and minister’s heads in the wake of worrying results for tourism in the first quarter.
On Sunday, a survey conducted by sister newspaper MaltaToday showed Zammit Dimech, who is currently taking the brunt for tough choices facing the Cabinet on low cost airlines, as the minister with the lowest approval rating.
Zammit Dimech saw his approval rating slipping from 49 per cent last September to just 20 per cent in July, after spending months on the receiving end of criticism by leading hoteliers for not delivering on pre-established targets on tourist arrivals.
Lungaro Mifsud’s appointment had been a sore point between Zammit Dimech and the implementation team entrusted with MTA’s plan for reform, namely Winston Zahra, George Micallef and Sam Mifsud – the team had refused the nomination of Lungaro Mifsud to managing director three times.
Sam Mifsud, a director at S. Mifsud and Sons, is touted as a possible favourite for the post at MTA, sources told Business Today.

mvella@mediatoday.com.mt



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