MTA Seminar on EU Funded Project SIBIT

Friday, December 21, 2012, 1:19

The Malta Tourism Authority recently organized an educational seminar on the EU funded SIBIT project (Sustainable Interregional Bike Tourism). This project was successfully launched in October 2011 in partnership with the Local Councils Association, theUniversityofPoloinAgrigentoand five provinces inSicily– (Trapani,Ragusa,Syracuse,AgrigentoandCaltanissetta).


Invitations for the seminar were issued through MHRA, FATTA, GTA and the Malta Cycling Federation to hotel Front Office Managers and staff, incoming handling agents and local bike service providers. The audience at the seminar was addressed by Ms Suzanne Cassar Dimech, Head Sports Tourism Segment at MTA, who along with the Project Coordinator (Malta) Mr Alfred Triganza, gave an overview of the objectives of the project along with the milestones achieved so far.



Ms Cassar Dimech explained that the close proximity of theMalteseIslandsandSicilylends itself to the promotion of a two point destination holiday. The Bike Tourism niche was identified due to a deficiency of adequate and pertinent hospitality structures, infrastructures and services in the bike tourism sector. Through this project, infrastructural initiatives were undertaken to facilitate the new operational activities which would enable the promotion of a standard bike tourism product inSicilyand theMalteseIslandsas a form of sustained tourist development.


Commenting further Ms Cassar Dimech said “The scope of the project was in line with the MTA’s recent focus on developing the rural aspect of Malta and Gozo as an experience for visiting tourists. Bike tourism is a non traditional and eco friendly way of exploring theMalteseIslandsrich heritage. Moreover due to our moderate climate there is the propensity to promote outdoor activity outside of the normal high season that would ultimately benefit the tourism sectors of bothMaltaandSicily.”


The seminar attendees were also updated on the main milestones of this project including: the identification and creation of trans-border routes between Sicily and Malta extending beyond 1000km, out of which two are located in the west side of Malta and a circular one around Gozo; the creation of internationally recognized signage along the route; adaptation of areas within nine accommodation establishments to provide specific services to bike tourists; the production of promotional material, website , guide book  and packages which are used during promotional drives at specialised fairs.


Other speakers at the seminar included Dr Luca Burruano- Project Coordinator (Sicily), Architects Frank Muscat and Angela Sciberras, Mr Martin Morana from MTA, Mr Andrew Galea and Mr Dennis Debono, members of the Cycling Expert team.


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