MHRA calls for “zero tolerance on any illegal hunting”
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The Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association (MHRA) said this afternoon that the recent reported incidents related to illegal hunting has raised serious concerns among operators in the industry.
The Association said that “hunting in Malta is highly controversial, especially among tourists, who, due to our island’s small size, easily come across hunters in the country side and also close to urban areas.”
MHRA stated that, “hunting disturbs a considerable number of people and if these happen to be foreigners who consciously decide to opt to holiday at another destination because of such practice in Malta then, this will start generating a negative economic affect which we all cannot afford especially during these very difficult economic times.
“The tourism industry generates 30% of GDP and 35% of Government’s revenues and if this is threatened by such incidents then it could translate into an economic problem which will eventually impact everyone including even families of hunters.
“We must bear in mind that there are 35,000 people whose livelihood depends on tourism and these jobs are spread throughout the various economic strata,” the Association said.
MHRA asks Government to invest more in education and awareness campaigns highlighting that respect for the environment does not only contribute to a healthier society but also pays economically.
MHRA also appeals to the NGOs in this field “to work together to ensure that Government takes the necessary steps to eradicate any form of abuse related to illegal hunting practices, but more significantly to encourage niche tourism initiatives that sustainably promote among tourists the natural beauty of the Maltese islands.”
The MHRA President concluded the statement with a pun and said that “Malta needs to stop shooting itself in the foot economically speaking!”