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Malta Reclaims The Streets For Tourists

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Too many incidents of tourists being confronted in the street while on holiday in Malta has led to the Maltese authorities taking action against the timeshare companies who employ aggressive sales staff to seek out possible buyers.

Complaints From Malta Holidaymakers

Complaints have risen, in recent years, from holiday makers who have had their time on the island spoiled by being approached on a daily basis to attend presentations, that can last up to four hours; in the hope that some tourists will buy into holiday property ownership and timeshares on Malta.

But the Malta tourist authorities have seen the damage it is doing to the island's economy and have decided to act.

Timeshare touts, who get paid a commission for every potential buyer they persuade to visit a presentation, can sometimes approach the same tourists two or three times a day; in a desperate attempt to earn a living in the sun.

As well as the feeling of not being able to go out without being accosted by these people, some timeshare touts verbally abused Malta tourists who declined to go to a presentation, or simply followed them down the street after being rebuked.

Malta Tourism Economy

With the tourism market vital to the Malta economy, the Malta Tourist Authority recognised that some visitors would be so put off the island by high pressure sales people that they wouldn't return; potentially losing Malta millions in lost revenue from repeat visitors.

In today's world, Malta has to compete with new destinations in Europe as well as Spain and her islands. Cheap Malta flights aren't in themselves enough to sustain tourism at reasonable levels anymore. The trick of sustained tourism is to have repeat business and timeshare touts bothering visitors to the island are enough, in some cases, to make sure that repeat visits don't happen.

The legislation the tourist authorities needed, to be able to protect the tourists, has recently been passed and the Malta Tourist Authority is planning to outsource security patrols; to police the timeshare touts.

In a clever move, designed to enforce the legislation effectively, the Malta Tourist Authority are being paid around 3,000 Euros for each rep the timeshare companies employ; as a bond that allows them to work in a regulated way.

Instead of waiting to take each incident through the courts, the MTA will be fining the companies found breaking the rules and taking the money out of the deposited bond money; with the timeshare companies having to make it up to the required amount immediately.

Malta Map

British tourists are often targeted by male and female timeshare reps working together.

While some timeshare touts base themselves outside Malta hotels, others drive around in cars; stopping tourists as though they were going to ask for directions and pointing to a map of Malta, before delivering their sales pitch. With some timeshare touts more persistent than others.

The Timeshare Representative

The timeshare reps are mostly from the United Kingdom and target British tourists who visit Malta for its sunny climate.

On occasions, the British tourists have had to resort to threaten violence to be left in peace; with the timeshare reps retorting that they were only trying to make a living.

In truth, while the timeshare reps are trying to make commission, for every penny they earn they could be losing the Malta economy far more with every approach they make as the tourists soon get fed up with the persistent efforts to sell them something they don't want.

Those tourists are sometimes having their whole holiday spoiled and are less likely to return.

The last thing the island needs is for tourists to step off their Air Malta flight to be accosted, before they even reach their hotel, with a sales pitch that reminds them of double glazing salesmen back home.

Malta Tourists to Enjoy The Sun Again

The pro-active stance taken by the Malta Tourist Authority, to protect the British visitor and to ensure that they can enjoy their holiday in the sun, will hopefully be the first of many to Malta.

The Malta Tourist Authority is to be commended for not only recognising the problem, but taking action to ensure the Maltese economy doesn't lose millions in lost revenue; from unhappy Brits who might otherwise take their spending money elsewhere, in the future.

Time alone will tell if Malta can screen her visitors from more than sunburn.

By YourMalta.

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