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Letters • January 25 2004

It is all in the Stars

Leonard Zammit Munro
Senior Manager
Corporate Communications & Business Development
Malta Tourism Authority

We refer to the article ‘It is all in the Stars’ penned by Dr Anna Mallia and which appeared in last Sunday’s edition of your newspaper.
In her letter, Dr Mallia questioned the classification of the Corinthia Marina Hotel as a five star hotel. This hotel was assigned a 5 star classification because it satisfies the requirements of a 5 star hotel with regards to standards, amenities on offer and its structure. In relation to the latter (the structure), it is worth noting that the property is in fact detached.
Dr Mallia was correct when she stated that the MTA's enforcement of these standards are guided by current legislation. It is worth mentioning, however, that compared with regulations in competing destinations, the 2002 regulations which cover Malta’s tourism accommodation establishments are more comprehensive. A firm of highly-respected international consultants in this field advised the MTA in the formulation of these regulations.
With regards to service, it is standard international practice that mandatory regulations focus on tangible factors and criteria. Thus the MTA can only regulate those standards that can be quantified.
Finally we would like to comment of the article's sub-heading 'It is most unfair to put most of the blame for a bad product Malta on the 3 star hotels.' The MTA has always avoided such blanket statements, in the knowledge that within each sector or category, there are good and bad eggs. Moreover, the MTA is more than aware of the complex nature of ‘product Malta’ and of the fact that tourism accommodation, irrespective of the category, is only part of this equation.
However, it is a documented fact that out of the 250 hotel-related complaints investigated by the Authority’s Enforcement Directorate in 2003, 2.4 per cent were in connection with the 5 star accommodation category, 34.4 per cent with the 4 star, 50 per cent with the 3 star and 13.2 per cent with 2 star hotels.


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