During the launch in Malta of a project to develop better tourism for senior citizens in which the Birkirkara Local Council collaborated with the Mediterranean Academy of Culture, Tourism and Trade based in Italy, the Minister for Tourism Dr Edward Zammit Lewis stated that this initiative was a unique opportunity for both local senior citizens as well as the local tourism industry alike. The EU funded project is aimed at incentivising individuals aged 60 to 70, already retired and receiving a pension, to travel in the low and medium seasons.
The programme includes training on how to use tourism and travel related portals and booking sites on the web and digital platforms to enable senior citizens plan and create their own holidays. Holiday providers are also being encouraged to cater for the needs of older travellers by placing relevant emphasis on cultural activities and venues (guided tours and theatres) and safety while promoting the use of current technology, including mobile apps.
Research is furthermore being conducted in five European countries namely – Malta, Italy, Spain, Greece and Bulgaria – with the aim of identifying best practices to be shared among participating countries. There will also be training sessions for destination managers and local guides.
The Minister was pleased that Malta was chosen as a partner as Malta can also be seen as a natural ‘laboratory’ in order to develop new tourism models. The geographical position of the Maltese Islands and our diverse population place us among the top destinations in the Mediterranean and therefore ready to welcome further sustainable tourism while also being more open to senior citizens.
The partners of “PLEASE” project are:
- ANAS ASSOCIAZIONE NAZIONALE DI AZIONE SOCIALE
- PERIFERIA THESSALIAS
- ISEST – ENTE MORALE
- MEDITERRANEAN ACADEMY OF CULTURE, TOURISM AND TRADE
- UNIVERSITAT DE VALENCIA
- POPOV GANTCHO
- ASOCIACION ESTATAL PARA EL DESARROLLO DE SERVICIOS Y RECURSOS DE APOYO A LA DEPENDENCIA
- ABRUZZO.COM SRL
- COMUNE DI SCONTRONE