Malta Tourism Management
Tourism constitutes a core part of Maltase economy and it contributes to the overall growth of the country. It is significant to note that tourism contributes to about 15% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country hence ensuring significant overall growth of the economy. The Malta Tourism Authority is in charge of overseeing operations of the tourism industry in the country. Cultural heritage is one of the most common aspects of tourism in Malta and it plays an instrumental role in ensuring that tourism industry is successful. This is to say that cultural heritage of Malta boosts other sectors such as medical tourism and aquatic aspects of tourist attraction. Cultural aspects of Malta entail historical, archaeological, ethnographic, geological, landscapes, museums, and intangible aspects of cultural value such as arts, customs, and traditions. The key communities of individuals living in Malta, which include Phoenicians, Romans, Carthaginians, and the Byzantines, have played a crucial role in contributing to cultural heritage of the Island hence promoting its further growth. The cultural heritage aspect contributes to the cultural exposure of the country. It earns foreign exchange, contributes to the GDP of the country, and creates numerous job opportunities within the country. However, it brings challenge such as environmental management challenges and has affected other aspects of tourism sector. Cultural heritage tourism also brings opportunities such as job opportunities, economic growth opportunities, and interactional opportunities among different individuals visiting the country and the locals.
This essay explicates the contributions of cultural heritage to the tourism product in Malta, the challenges, and opportunities presented by the cultural heritage tourism in the island.
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One of the most significant contributions of the cultural heritage aspect is gross domestic growth of Malta Island. It is significant to note that the gross domestic product (GDP) of Malta islands is highly reliant on the contribution of cultural heritage to the overall sector of tourism. Timothy (2011, p. 56) opines that tourism is believed to contribute to about 15% of the overall economic growth of Malta, and majorly this happens because of the cultural heritage aspect. The Cultural Heritage Act of 2002 has played a key role in ensuring the contribution of cultural aspects to the tourism industry in the country. Advertisements and marketing of cultural aspects have ensured that more individuals come into the country to have fun and ensure further economic growth. The growth of the Maltase economy has been promoted by wide cultural heritage aspects, such as the landscape of the island, that is characterized by enormous beaches and attractive cultural elements of its people. The hospitable nature of communities living on the island with their rich art and museums have been vital in promoting continuous inflow of money hence increasing the gross domestic product of the island. With this contribution, Malta island has been able to remain strong in its growth and improve performance of its activities towards building stronger country around the globe.
Another contribution of cultural heritage aspect is enhancement of interactions among individuals on the island and the rest of the world. Cultural heritage tourism has exposed Malta islands to different parts of the globe and has facilitated both internal and external interactions. Terterov & Reuvid (2005, p. 22) asserts that different communities living in Malta islands, such as the Phoenicians, Romans, Carthaginians, and the Byzantines, have been able to showcase their cultural materials to incoming visitors hence enhancing the level of interaction between the island and the incoming visitors. Most people visiting the country have thus been able to understand and appreciate its cultural aspects with a more dignified level. Cultural interactions realized through cultural heritage tourism have been instrumental in facilitating the overall growth of the Malta islands. Museums on the island have also been able to register a high number of tourists, who come to experience the overall culture of people of Malta. Continuous sharing of cultures has increased appreciation of local cultural aspects and accommodation of any required changes. This makes the entire culture more attractive and better placed to attract more tourists to the island. Sharing cultural aspects also plays a key role in enhancing integration of all communities and tourists coming into the country. This has given the island a better opportunity to grow and move toward the achievement of its targets. Continued interactions and sharing of culture have ensured that Malta islands are exposed to the rest of the globe as a popular tourist destination. This attracts more visitors to the island ensuring that it is better placed on the global map of the best tourist attractions around the globe.
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Cultural heritage has also enhanced the diversification of tourist products. In most countries, individuals tend to assume that tourism is about wild animals, aquatic animals, and national reserves. However, cultural heritage aspect takes into consideration people, art, museums, and archaeological aspects as parts of tourism. This has been vital in bringing a sense of diversity to the tourism sector on Malta islands and averting continued reliance on animals and birds as the main tourist attraction elements. Diversity in tourism sector is important as it ensures that the island is able to deal with threats to endangered species that have always been the main tourist attractions within the island. Diversification has also been imperative in ensuring that there is stability in tourism industry as visitors trickle in at every moment to enjoy cultural heritage of the islands. The diversified nature of tourism has also opened up more avenues for investment in the tourism sector by the government of Malta. The USA International Business Publications (2012, p. 35) reiterates that the government has taken strategic steps to facilitate the growth of cultural heritage tourism sector to enhance its diversity. Therefore, cultural tourism in Malta has contributed to the diversity of tourism product ensuring that it is not limited to certain trusted aspects such as wildlife.
Additionally, cultural heritage tourism aspect has increased the value of tourism product by increasing the number of individuals employed in the sector. Malta is one of tourist destinations with a high number of individuals employed to provide significant services to incoming visitors. According to Marks (2008, p. 51), the government of Malta has also found it simpler to deal with unemployment because of the presence of the cultural aspect in the tourism sector. A high number of employees attracted to the tourism sector has been crucial in adding value to tourism sector. High level of professionalism brought to the tourism sector through training has played a contributory role in expanding tourism sector on Malta islands. The notable growth of tourism sector has been immensely contributed to by the growing level of cultural heritage. The value added to tourism product comes into place because of high quality of services that are delivered by effectively trained individuals to handle the sector with an expanded level of tourism entailing the cultural heritage sector. Therefore, it can be noted that cultural heritage has added value to tourism product by ensuring that there is a large number of employees ready to deliver services in the tourism sector.
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However, the cultural heritage aspect of tourism also tends to create certain challenges to the island. One of the most significant challenges brought about by cultural heritage tourism is the diversion of funds from other core tourist attractions to the cultural aspect. The government of Malta has found itself in a position where it has to continuously promote tourism sector of the country. Dodds & Graci (2012) agree that this is achieved through the issue of funds to promote stability of the entire industry. Nevertheless, most of this money has been concentrated on cultural heritage element of tourism leaving out other crucial elements of the tourism sector. This ends up negating the growth of tourism in the Island because of little support that other elements are given by the government. For instance, concentration of funds on the cultural heritage aspect leads to the continued destruction of animal reserves within the island without care from relevant authorities. Little finances received by other tourist attraction elements also make it difficult to enhance the overall growth of tourism on the islands. Thus, the declining support of other elements that support tourism in Malta islands affect the entire sector as the number of tourist attractions plummet gradually. Therefore, cultural heritage element of tourism brings about the challenge of allocating funds to the entire tourism sector on Malta islands.
Environmental challenge is also presented by the increased reliance on cultural heritage tourism. It is worth noting that the environment in Malta islands has come under immense destruction because of the increasing reliance on museums and other aspects that constitute cultural heritage tourism. Government’s laws concerning the environment have been worrying and have attracted immense attention from environmental NGO’s operating in Malta. This is because of the declining concentration on wildlife aspect of tourism in the country hence affecting its growth. Hall et al. (2006) is of the view that the management of the environment tends to come with immense challenges as the government struggles to put in place systems to cater for both the environment and cultural aspects of tourism. The concentration on cultural heritage aspects also comes with challenges as the governments tends to concentrate on this aspects hence bending environmental laws. This has led to increased instances of arsonist’s attacks to the environment hence degrading it further. Therefore, the environment is likely to face more degradation because of the acts that are not effectively regulated by the government that has focused on ensuring that there is significant performance of cultural heritage element of tourism.
The cultural element of tourism in Malta islands has also brought about numerous opportunities to the people of the island. One of the most crucial opportunities brought about by cultural heritage is employment opportunity. The incorporation of cultural heritage element into the field of tourism implies the expansion of the sector and creation of more job opportunities for occupants of the Malta islands. Job opportunities created for Maltese individuals play a role of fighting the unemployment menace in the Island as more individuals are able to land opportunities in this sector. Malta Island finds it easier to create job opportunities and improve the standard of living among individuals through the channel of cultural heritage tourism (Briguglio 2005). The expansion of overall tourism sector ensures that many individuals are accommodated into the job market hence alleviating unemployment level in the country.
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Additionally, cultural heritage tourism in Malta brings about the opportunity of education. Most institutions that teach individuals about tourism have emerged with the increasing contribution of cultural heritage tourism to the tourism sector. Educational sector on Malta islands has been able to focus on the growth of education in the tourist sector hence promoting the knowledge of residents about the tourism sector. Institutions of higher learning in Malta have also come in strongly and embraced the element of cultural heritage tourism in their curriculum. This has been tailored towards ensuring that individuals understand what is meant by cultural heritage tourism and the manner in which it can be assisted to grow. Expansion of overall tourism sector enhanced by the cultural heritage element has ensured that more individuals are to be trained in management of visitors that come into the Island at most parts of the year (Bramwell 2004, p. 29). Therefore, increased educational opportunities brought about by the cultural heritage aspect have ensured that the island boasts of more tourist professionals able to treat the incoming visitors appropriately. The high level of hospitality attained by these professionals ensures that the island expands its earnings every year as more tourists are attracted to visit different available places.
Another important opportunity presented by cultural heritage tourism is the opportunity to earn foreign exchange. Tourism is always categorized as an invisible form of trade between different countries across the globe. Gaul (2007, p. 73) affirms that cultural heritage aspect, which constitutes the overall level of tourism industry ensures that the island is better placed to earn foreign exchange from its activities of trading in tourism commodity. This is vital to improve the economy and ensure that it remains in its best form in terms of growth and expansion. The opportunity to earn foreign exchange also promotes the position of Malta islands in terms of trade. Its attractive landscapes and museums continually offer cash inflows as tourists stream in and out of the country each part of the year. The opportunity to earn foreign exchange puts Malta Island in the best position to improve living standards of its occupants and ensure the overall development of the country. This is common as the island finds tourism a key element of economic growth. Without tourism, the gross domestic product would not be at the position it is currently. Therefore, cultural heritage tourism would offer the best opportunity for Malta islands to earn foreign exchange from its operations.
The last opportunity brought about by Malta’s cultural heritage is interaction with other cultures around the globe. Utilization of cultural heritage as part of tourism plays an instrumental role in welcoming a large number of tourists, who want to experience the diversity of Malta islands. These tourists also tend to come in with their cultural aspects that they believe could be exchanged effectively with the one existing in Malta. Foxell & Trafford (2010, p. 47) assert that cultural exchange and interactions with individuals from other countries is important as it ensures that the system matures further as it contributes to the expansion of tourism. Uniqueness of Maltese cultural heritage facilitates interactions with individuals from other countries hence ensuring that significant regional and global integration is realized. This is achieved through the appreciation and support of cultural aspects of Malta islands. The freedom to interact and share these aspects of cultural aspects would provide Malta islands with the best opportunity to earn more profits in tourism sector. This will ensure that a significant level of growth is witnessed within the Island with better relationships developed with individuals from all parts of the globe.
In conclusion, this essay has focused on explication of contributions of cultural heritage to the tourism product of Malta islands. The essay has also pointed out the challenges and opportunities presented by the existence of cultural heritage element of tourism in Malta islands. It is crucial to note that the government has focused on ensuring utilization of cultural heritage as part of tourism hence expanding the overall industry. Cultural heritage elements entail the landscape of the island, communities living in the island, archaeological features, arts, and traditions of individuals living in Malta. Additionally, it entails the intangible aspects of cultural value such as arts, customs, and traditions. The cultural heritage aspect contributes to cultural exposure of the country. It earns foreign exchange because of its role as an invisible form of trade. More so, it has contributed to the overall GDP of the country by about 15% hence ensuring that Malta islands have the opportunity to grow with a sound rate of economic development. Many jobs have been created in the tourism sector hence improving the quality of tourism product on the Malta islands. However, it also comes with challenges in terms of financial allocations by the government of the country. This is because of the difficulty to divide money to promote growth of other elements such as wildlife and aquatic forms of tourism. Environmental challenge is also common as there are increased instances of arson attacks and poor environmental management. Cultural heritage tourism also brings opportunities such as job opportunities for residents of the island, economic growth opportunities through earning the island foreign exchange, and interactional opportunities among different individuals visiting the country and the locals. Therefore, it can be noted that cultural heritage is imperative for the success of overall tourism sector in Malta islands.