The European Commission’s report on the economic and social situation of Gozo was the main issue raised by stakeholders during the first in a series of six public dialogues that MEUSAC is organising to mark the 10th anniversary of Malta’s accession to the European Union (EU) and to evaluate Malta’s progress in achieving the Europe2020 targets on Thursday 12th June 2014.
The theme of this public dialogue was ‘Gozo in the European Union’. Minister for Gozo, Anton Refalo, Parliamentary Secretary for EU Funds and the Presidency of the EU Council in 2017, Ian Borg, and MEUSAC Head Vanni Xuereb, tackled a number of topics affecting Gozo in the EU.
The Quality and Industry HR Development Unit within the Malta Tourism Authority organized two workshops in relation to the European Social Fund (ESF) funding period 2014-2020. During the previous funding period two successful training programmes were conducted, namely, ESF 2.11 the Advance Programme for Developing Leaders in Tourism and ESF2.78 Diversity Management in Tourism.
Thus, the Department is at this the stage of developing ideas for other possible training programmes and is looking for direct input from stakeholders, so that the upcoming training programmes will be in line with what the local tourism industry requires. The workshops were held on the 20th and 22nd May at the San Antonio Hotel & Spa and the Westin Dragonara Resort respectively.
Maltese business organisations in conjunction with the European Parliament Information Office has launched a business manifesto for the European elections campaign. The MBB, Malta Chamber of Commerce, MHRA, GRTU and MEA highlighted the priorities and expectations of Maltese businesses in the forthcoming MEP elections and the EP legislature. These included a set of economic and political recommendations which would help boost growth and competitiveness in the European Union.
The Malta Business Bureau took this opportunity to highlight ways that the MEPs can improve the promotion of business interests in Europe. One way that this can be achieved is for the MEPs to have constant contact with business organisations to ensure that MEPs will be up to date with what is currently at European Commission proposal stage as well as the position of the Maltese business towards it. MEPs should also pursue better inter-parliamentary collaboration between the European Parliament and the shadow committees tasked with the equivalent scope of activities within the National House of Representatives. This would allow for a framework whereby the House of Representatives tasks elected MEPs with debriefings of the ongoing work in the various EP committees in order to ensure that the national Parliament is kept as up to date as possible.
The RID within Transport Malta is planning to start works on the Salina Coast Road in the coming weeks. In this regard, a meeting was held on Friday 28 February 2014 at Transport Malta, Sa Maison Offices, in order to present the project phasing and proposed diversion routes.
Mr Etienne Dalli represented the Malta Association of Hospitality Executives in this meeting, where he met with Ing. Simon Grima (Chief Officer Roads and Infrastructure Directorate) and Mr Ray Azzopardi from the Malta Tourism Authority.
During the meeting Mr Ray Azzopardi commented that the hospitality industry needs to be kept continuously informed on the planned works, to improve the efficiency of the roads network. MAHE looks forward to ongoing dialogue aimed at minimising the potential disruptions that the planned works can have on the performance of our hospitality industry within the Salina, Qawra, Bugibba, St.Paul's Bay, Mellieha and Cirkewwa area.
As part of the Management Partnership Agreement between the Malta-EU Steering and Action Committee (MEUSAC) and the European Commission, MEUSAC is currently implementing a series of information sessions on the new EU Funding Programming Period for 2014-2020.
Mr Etienne Dalli represented the Malta Association of Hospitality Executives in these information sessions which include different Managing Authorities and National Contact Points delivering a presentation of the different EU funds for 2014-2020.
The Malta Association of Hospitality Executives has participated in the Tourism & Education Expo organised by the Student Council of the Institute of Tourism Studies on both days - Monday 17th and Tuesday 18th March 2014.
“It is estimated that around 21 per cent of potential tourists refrain from going to the EU because of visa requirements,” Tourism Minister Edward Zammit Lewis said today. The new tourism minister was addressing a conference tackling the European Commission’s dossier called ‘Facilitating Tourism to the Mediterranean through the EU’s Visa Policy’, at the Hilton, St Julians.
EU Commissioner nominee and former tourism minister Karmenu Vella, MTA CEO Josef Formosa Gauci, MTA chairman Gavin Gulia, Ambassador of Greece to Malta Alexandros Rallis, and Daniel Calleja Crespo, director-general of the Commission for industry and entrepreneurship, were also present. Dr Zammit Lewis said that a high-level meeting had just been concluded with other EU Mediterranean Member States, including Croatia, Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain and the European Commission where shorter timeframes were discussed related to the issuing of visas, the information system gathered by all EU Member States to help facilitate the issuing of visas, visa security issues, among others.
“The introduction of the visa code by the EU (back in 2010) which harmonised the regulation process related to issuing of visas, had led to a great increase in those applying for visas and once the system is facilitated, this will continue to enhance applications,” he noted.
TAP-Knowledge Network sponsored and co-organised the B2B Partnership & Networking Conference 2014 held on Friday 11th April. The focus of the event was Malta as a gateway to doing business in the 21st century and how Germany, Netherlands and Malta can pool forces and ideas to build bridges for economic development with North Africa.
This included an open panel discussion programme including Malta as a hub and catalyst for trade, technology transfer and competence integration for Europe.
The MBB's EU LIFE+ Investing in Water Project announced savings of 141,000,000 litres per annum amongst businesses and hotels collaborating with the project. The savings were announced at the project's closing event held on Friday 28th March at the Exchange Buildings in Valletta.
The EU LIFE+ Investing in Water Project published its Layman's Report at today's event. The report summarises project actions, results, and how the partners intend to continue working on reducing industry's demand following the project conclusion. The report may be downloaded from www.investinginwater.org.
The Malta Hotels & Restaurants Association (MHRA) launched the Mediterranean Tourism Forum initiative in 2013 with the aim to bring together stakeholders from the tourism sector in the Mediterranean region to discuss avenues for synergies. This initiative is being fully supported by the Government of Malta and HOTREC, the association of hotels and restaurants associations from across the EU. The first Forum was launched in 2013 for which over 700 participants attended for the event.
This year the theme of the Forum was "The Great Story" and it took place on the 21st November, 2014 at the Hilton, Malta under the patronage of the President of Malta HE Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca. Top personalities coming from different walks of life, from over 15 different countries participated in various panel discussions.
The Malta Association of Hospitality Executives participated in a workshop aimed to examine the process and implementation of a local tourism plan through continuous and consistent consultation with the community. It was discussed the feasibility and practical outcomes of a bottom up approach to tourism development. Thus, it was shown that tourism is not just an economic tool that enriches a community's or society's financial well being, but one that also enriches the social aspects through interaction, involvement, hospitality and education.