Fabian Demicoli

World Tourism Day in line with GRTU’s Budget proposals

This year's
World Tourism Day seeks to celebrate the theme of Tourism and Community
Development. This theme focuses on the ability of tourism to empower people and
provide them with skills to achieve change in their local communities.

In its 2015 Budget proposals
GRTU is calling for the generation of increased economic activity in our
localities. With our country's small size it makes all the more sense to
maximise our space potential and build on the concept of community tourism.
Alternative forms of accommodation should be encouraged and incentivised. The
popularity of staying in boutique hotels, small guest houses, hostels and even
host families has soared drastically in recent years and Malta should be able
to cater for such a demand. It is still tourism of high quality and value added
but whose priority is the authenticity of the experience. There is in fact
indeed a demand by tourists to experience countries away from the traditionally
tourist concentrated areas.

The value added in the
utilization of available resources that could easily materialise with the right
incentives. The ripple effect this would have on our economy as a whole could
be remarkable. Cafés, Restaurants and retailers will benefit if tourists
accommodation spreads from the traditional tourists areas to the localities.
The package of incentives should focus on facilitating access to finance, which
includes grants, tax credits and advantageous loans. Licensing and standards
should also reflect this shift.

This year's World Tourism Day
theme will highlight the potential of tourism to promote opportunities for communities
around the world, as well as the role that community engagement has in
advancing sustainable tourism development.

World Tourism Day is
celebrated every year on the 27 of September. It is a global celebration that
highlights tourism's social, cultural, political and economic value.

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