ADPD calls on tourism operators to safeguard residential communities

The Green Party says that tourism entrepreneurs are pocketing the profits, whilst communities are facing the negative impacts

ADPD - The Green Party held a press conference in Valletta on Saturday morning (Photo: ADPD)
ADPD - The Green Party held a press conference in Valletta on Saturday morning (Photo: ADPD)

ADPD – The Green Party said that in order for tourism to be sustainable, tourism operators had to ensure that they were not negatively impacting the residential communities amongst which they operate.

During a press conference in Valletta on Saturday morning, party Chairperson Carmel Cacopardo said that competing destinations like Barcelona and Ibiza have strict regulations on sound levels that ensure that entertainment establishments meet soundproofing criteria and guarantee local residents’ right to rest.

“It is absolutely not true that other tourist hotspots are a free for all. The idea that a free for all should be allowed to serve the interests of the few at the expense of everyone else is an idea ingrained in the servile minds of the toothless and industry-controlled Malta Tourism Authority,” Cacopardo said.

He said that the debate about the social and environmental impacts of tourism was crucial and questioned whether Malta should cap the number of tourists, depending on the available resources.

“The conflicting interests involved in tourism must be addressed through the democratisation of tourism development,” Cacopardo said.

He argued that tourism entrepreneurs should shoulder social responsibility, and absorb cultural and environmental costs. “So far, the tourism operators pocket the profits and we, the rest, face the impacts.”

“The decision-making process of tourism development should be subjected to more public scrutiny by the community suffering from the impacts which it generates,” Cacopardo concluded.

ADPD spokesperson Marcus Lauri said the party had received various complaints from residents in various localities about entertainment establishments.

“They pump out music at very loud volumes late into the night. This is taking place in various localities not just here in Valletta,” Lauri said. “The Minister of Tourism does not care less about residents and instead of seeking solutions chose to extend hours in which amplified music is played in Valletta.”

Lauri argued that Malta lacks adequate regulations and an enforcement culture. He said that police do not have the legal tools to be able to effectively enforce regulations. “What we have is the Malta Tourism Authority, which is an incompetent regulator.”

Lauri said that Tourism Minister Clayton Bartolo succumbed to pressure from the operators and extended the permissible times for loud music from 11pm to 1am.

He concluded by saying that it was not true that no city in the world regulated loud music in residential areas and disallowed it after 11pm.

“On the contrary, specific regulations in cities include limits which set the sound levels which are allowed and even oblige establishments to be properly sound proofed for amplified music to be played. This is what the minister should be working on,” Lauri said.