GRTU has this week written to Ms Marlene Bonnici, Director General of the Planning and Priorities Coordination Division (the managing authority for such funds), in relation to the subject in caption and more specifically to the date of the next call to be issued.
GRTU reminded the Director General that this funding mechanism is very popular with enterprises. We feel that it is one of the few grants available which our members do not feel discouraged to apply for as the energy they put into applying for funding pays off, if the application is accepted, by granting funding where they feel it is most relevant.
Last year GRTU in collaboration with the Tourism and Sustainable Development Unit held an information session for the last call issued. Even though members found the call very interesting they felt they did not have enough time to present a good enough project form the date of the info session to the deadline and most decided to wait for the next call and until then apply for all permits necessary.
Both the GRTU and its members are now very keen to see the new call published at the earliest, we are however concerned that the call will take much longer than the expected October date to be published and the reason seems to be that the TSDU have some issues to settle before with the PPCD. GRTU admitted it is not aware of the gravity of these issues however, we feel that this should not halt the process. It is extremely important that the call is issued not later than October 2010 even more so since the evaluation of the application takes up to 7 months, meaning May 2011, this will give applicants just enough time to carry out the projects before the peak tourism season starts. GRTU appealed to the DG not only to ensure the call is issued in October 2010 but the evaluation period is diminished to 3 months. Only in this way will the applicants have enough time to implement the project before the tourism season starts and for the project to start reaping immediate benefits. Till today no reply has been received from the PPCD.