NEWS | Sunday, 22 July 2007

Unhappy tourists lament burgeoning language students

Gerald Fenech

It happens every year and with record numbers of foreign students visiting our islands, this year is no exception. Reports reaching MaltaToday confirm that several 3 and 4-star hotels are jam-packed with foreign language students, with the detrimental effect of annoying guests who are complaining that their hard-earned holiday is being turned into a rowdy one.
Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association president Josef Formosa Gauci confirmed that due to lack of bookings, most hotels in the lower star bracket have accepted considerable numbers of students, which are obviously having an effect on regular guests.
“We are aware of the situation and it is inevitable that these young students will cause considerable disruption in hotels when they come in groups of a hundred or more. What we really need is to go back to basics and ensure that our hotels are full of tourists with foreign students being accommodated with host families or specially built hostels, as should be the case.”
Formosa Gauci explained that the students were typically concentrated in hotels in the Sliema/St Julian’s area and in Bugibba/Qawra. He suggested that old 3 star hotels that are considering closing down should think of converting their property into a student hostel where business is on the increase.
The Malta Tourism Authority, which is responsible for the enforcement of hotel regulations did not answer questions sent by MaltaToday on the issue.

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