ESPON – Malta event on sustainable tourism



30 May 2022


COVID-19, like earlier pandemics had a devastating influence on the tourism sector, the effects of which are still being felt by the industry. Pandemics often result in a considerable drop in visitor arrivals, and as such the spread of COVID-19 also caused a worldwide downturn in international travel. Demand, spending, consumer confidence and, consequently, supply all dropped during the COVID-19 outbreak, posing difficulties that need urgent resolve.

A major economic contributor of the Maltese economy is tourism, rendering directly and indirectly approximately 30% of the GDP and employing a significant amount of people. Following years of recurrent record growth, bolstered by the country´s enhanced connectivity and its reduced seasonality, Malta experienced an unprecedented dip in performance due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Maltese tourism sector also faces a number of challenges, such as integrating quality at all levels of the value chain, rebuilding the airline route network, and encouraging collaboration across diverse digital tourism efforts by consolidating and effectively using data. Tourism recovery will need to take into consideration these challenges, along with the new demands of the post-COVID-19 reality and the accelerated effects of climate change that pose direct threats on tourism. This will require a shift away from the previous economic model, implying more sustainable approaches for development.

The Peer learning workshop on Sustainable Pathways for the Tourism Industry in Malta will bring together important players in the Maltese hospitality sector with relevant stakeholders from across Europe to share experiences, practices, high-tech solutions, along with ESPON research evidence to empower sustainable tourism routes in Malta.