Tourism in Malta – Are we back to normal?
Tourism is one of the main drivers of the Maltese economy. Over the years it has proved its sustainability with record numbers being registered on a regular basis. Malta offers a unique experience where travellers enjoy several benefits that the country has to offer including the exceptional weather, night life, delightful cuisine, culture and heritage.
The COVID-19 pandemic dealt a severe blow to the tourism industry worldwide and Malta was not spared. In view of the reliance on tourism for the economy, many employees found themselves in difficult positions, especially those operating in hotels, restaurants and entertainment. 2020 was a strange and inconsistent year where the tourism industry had to recover from the lockdowns which took place in the first half of it.
In view of the rapid vaccination programme, low case numbers, hospitalisations and mortality rates, restrictions are being lifted, allowing hotels, restaurants and other places of entertainment to operate somewhat normally.
In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, it would be folly to assume that the situation has returned to normal for tourism. Although vaccines are proving their effectiveness in the fight against the pandemic, the tourism situation still represents some levels of uncertainty. People may still feel reluctant to catch flights which are now being well-occupied with people who they do not know sitting next to them. Although people need to wear masks during flights, there would still be close proximity to others, hence increasing the chances of infection.
Another issue which still impacts those considering travel is that of quarantine. This may represent several challenges as if people are infected as they are on their way back to their home country, they may find themselves being quarantined for two weeks in a hotel within the place they travelled to. This would ruin a holiday as one will be forced to stay within a hotel room for days and this will bring about a hefty expense for accommodation.
Although the situation is still a tad volatile, good news is on the way as together with vaccines, antiviral drugs for COVID-19 are being prepared, with one in particular set to be approved in the coming weeks. This may deal another blow to the disease, as hospitalisations and deaths may plummet further.
What do you think about the tourism situation? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.