Interview to MEP Roberta Metsola (Malta, EPP)

 

1. As an experienced MEP from a highly touristic country, what should be, in your opinion, the priorities of the new European Parliament to support sustainable tourism development?

The tourism industry is one of the biggest contributors to the Maltese economy and is the third-largest sector in the European Union — employing roughly 17 million people. While the tourism sector is clearly a strong driver of growth and jobs for many in Malta and regionally, it can impose considerable strains on the environment.

Europe’s competitiveness in the tourism industry gives it the responsibility to protect those working in the tourism industry. Yet, while tourism is a strong driver of economic growth and job creation, it needs to be sustainable, and legislation needs to strike the right balance in this regard.

As a member of the Intergroup on Sustainable Tourism and the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee, this is an area I will work to seek consensus on within the European Parliament.

2. In your country, British tourists represent an important source market for tourism businesses and a high share of the overall tourist arrivals. In this context, Brexit is likely to seriously impact the tourism sector and growth. What can be done to mitigate this impact?

British tourists comprise almost one-third of all yearly visitors to Malta. A top priority post-Brexit will be ensuring the continued attractiveness of Malta as a holiday destination for them. Remaining competitive, attracting new sectors and focusing on diversification will help Malta to stay a key tourist destination for British holiday-goers.

We have to prepare properly for Brexit and move past uncertainty, including by preparing for potential worsening currency exchange rates between the Pound Sterling, the Euro and other currencies used in the EU currently. Any deal struck with the UK should keep in mind short term visits by UK nationals to EU countries and vice versa, to ensure that undue bureaucracy does not creep in. This would mean that countries, like Malta and Spain, which receive a high quantity of British tourists annually, would not suffer as a consequence.

3. The collapse of Thomas Cook had a massive negative impact on tourism and the economic well-being of many touristic destinations across many European countries such as Malta. In your opinion, what should the EU do to avoid any repetition of this crisis in the future?

With regards to the collapse of Thomas Cook, we have to acknowledge that better supervisory mechanisms must be in place to prevent collapses of this magnitude from occurring. 600,000 people were stranded away from home, with no alternative return trip provided.

The withdrawal agreement between the EU and the UK will have to include a strong consumer protection component that is fit for purpose in an age of online travel agents and increased online commercial activity. Moving forward, the European Parliament must continue to do its utmost through legislation to promote a competitive environment between airlines to avoid similar occurrences. The EPP Group especially has been at the forefront in giving tens of millions of passengers in Europe access to air travel by opening up the market for more competition, high-quality services and transparent prices for travellers. In this way, travellers are protected, businesses are protected, and the interests of the single market are protected.

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08 Nov
08/11/2022    
All Day
Next meeting of the PTD expert group on 8/11: agenda available: https://www.hotrec.eu/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/draft-Agenda-8-Nov-2022.pdf
Informal meeting with Airlines4Europe - Possible impact of Fit for 55 on airline pricing and travel
08/11/2022    
09:45 - 11:15
Main outcome of the meeting available (summary + PowerPoint from Airlines4Europe)
14 Nov
14/11/2022 - 16/11/2022    
00:00
On 14-16 November 2022, the Czech presidency of the EU Council will organise the European Tourism Forum.
Webinar on Practical solutions to food waste monitoring in hospitality
17/11/2022    
10:30 - 11:30
Webinar - 17 November, 10.30-11.30 CET
Preparatory meeting SSD plenary + Update on Social Affairs
21/11/2022    
10:00 - 11:30
On 21 November 2022, HOTREC will organise its Sectoral Social Dialogue preparatory meeting + update on Social Affairs (policy and legislative files). The meeting will [...]
22 Nov
22/11/2022    
11:30 - 14:00
HOTREC has shared consolidated comments on ISO Restaurant Vocabulary Project (WD16520) now accessible and will attend the 22 November meeting. 
24 Nov
24/11/2022    
11:00 - 12:30
Slides and recording are available online. Other documents will be shared next week.
24 Nov
24/11/2022    
15:00 - 16:30
New meeting - all HOTREC members are welcome to attend - 24 November 2022
Sectoral Social Dialogue Plenary meeting
25/11/2022    
10:00 - 16:00
PowerPoint presentations available
28 Nov
28/11/2022    
15:00 - 17:00
Stanhope Hotel Brussels by Thon Hotels List of Participants Draft Agenda for ExCom meeting on 28 November 2022 PLEASE NOTE THAT FROM 16:30, THE PRESIDENT-ELECT, [...]
European Hospitality Day - Event at European Parliament
29/11/2022    
08:30 - 14:30
HOTREC is organising meetings and exchanges for HOTREC members at the European Parliament on Tuesday 29 November 2022 in Brussels.
Events on 14/11/2022
14 Nov
Events on 22/11/2022
Events on 24/11/2022
Events on 25/11/2022
Events on 28/11/2022
28 Nov