Alan Borg

Malta International Airport (MIA) CEO Alan Borg has stressed the importance of technology as a “critical point in our preparation for the safe restart of tourism”.

As announced last week, Malta plans to open up to tourism on 1st June, with a €20 million aid package aimed at boosting the sector.

And boosting, it needs. Passenger traffic through MIA totalled 32,033 movements last March, the MIA said in a statement. Translating into a drop of 93 per cent compared to the same month in 2019, this traffic result “reflects the hurdles – including low consumer confidence – still being faced by the aviation industry a year into the COVID-19 pandemic”.

MIA commented that a rapid vaccination roll-out in Malta together with the Government’s plan to restart tourism “bodes well for the second half of the year”.

However, the successful revival of air travel is also highly dependent on the restoration of consumer confidence in the industry in the build-up to summer, it was stressed.

“The fact that Malta is one of the European leaders in immunising its population is currently our strongest selling point with airlines and travellers looking for a safe destination this summer. Whilst commending the local Health Authority’s work with the vaccination roll-out, I would also like to stress the importance of technology at this critical point in our preparations for the safe restart of tourism,” said Mr Borg.

He added that travel has clearly become more complex following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and that the use of technology would contribute significantly to facilitating the experience of tourists entering our islands.

Further, he noted that a Malta ‘app’ would allow passengers to upload all necessary documents – namely the passenger locator form, health declaration form, and COVID-19 test result or vaccine certificate – for verification by the authorities prior to their entry in Malta.

“In turn, this would give incoming passengers a heightened sense of safety and security and allow for a more seamless travel experience, whilst contributing to the restoration of consumer confidence.”

The EU is set to launch its own ‘Green Certificate’, facilitating travel by EU residents who have been vaccinated, have had COVID already and allowing travelers to display negative PCR tests.

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