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COVID-HIT HOTELS CONSIDER STAYING SHUT UNTIL 2021

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Copia-di-RICICLAGGIOSome hotels are considering skipping the summer season altogether and only reopening to guests in March 2021, because of the impact coronavirus is having on the number of tourists expected to arrive on the island.

The president of the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association, Tony Zahra, said hoteliers were basing their decision on the seating capacity forecast for flights over the next few months.

Based on ‘today’s knowns’, Zahra said seat capacity was down from last year to 27% this month, 43% in August, 50% in September and is forecast to remain at that level between October and March.

He said: “Some hotels are considering opening in March 2021. They may actually wait until then. I am not informed yet whether decisions have been taken, but they are waiting to see how things pan out in July.”

Zahra said the situation remained highly fluid and would change if tourists could be encouraged to fly.
Air Malta, last week, announced additional scheduled services from October to “further assist the local tourism industry, including hotels, restaurants and other operators, and subject to health assessments”. The airline said it had been seeing a gradual increase in bookings.

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