The MTA, in collaboration with the Parliamentary Secretariat for Tourism, is continuously involved in projects whose objective is to improve the tourism product.
In 2007, the MTA submitted an application for the implementation of a number of projects that target the improvement of specific tourism areas that included Pembroke, St Paul’s Bay and Qawra Point.
The second component of this ERDF project targets the improvement of a derelict area in front of some of the main 5-star resorts in this area (Radisson Baypoint and Corinthia San Gorg) and its conversion into a public garden. Furthermore, the project involves the establishment of a Garigue Heritage Park across the former military shooting ranges - based on a walking/cycling trail that links the new garden with Madliena Tower.
The proposal is to redesign the area to create a garden with appropriate landscaping and to provide better definition to the space. The ground sloping towards the sea is to be landscaped and provided with shaded seating.
Pembroke garden will provide a quiet enclave where people can sit and relax as an alternative to the hustle and bustle of St. George’s Bay and Paceville nearby. It is not envisaged that the gardens will be intensively used or that it will pull the crowds. It will however provide a unique experience for greenery, quality spaces and sea views for tourists and Maltese.
The project is currently estimated to cost around €2.15 million (ex VAT). The tender for the works has been published and is expected to close in February.
As part of the intervention, MTA had signed an agreement with Pembroke Athleta that allowed MTA to use part of the land allocated to the club for the garden in exchange for the building of sports facilities on their site. This means that MTA will be spending about €125,000 in the upgrading.
Garigue Heritage Park
The Garigue Heritage Park is a project involving a number of stakeholders including the NGO’s Nature Trust and Fondazzjoni Wirt Artna, the Pembroke Local Council and the Malta Tourism Authority (other stakeholders include the Armed Forces of Malta). Nature Trust are working on a management plan of this Natura 2000 site, in collaboration with MEPA, and will be taking the lead in the interpretation of natural features in the park. Fondazzjoni Wirt Artna will be leading in the interpretation of its military features.
The backbone of the park is going to be a walking/cycling trail across the site from the new garden, close to the hotels, to Madliena Tower – a distance of approximately 2.5 km.
Most of the cycle path will make use of existing pathways or which used to exist and were used by British forces to patrol the area. At selected points along the route, there will be rest areas with landscaping and seating.
The building of the trail, the interpretation material, selected cleaning and the introduction of seating areas is part of the ERDF project by the Malta Tourism Authority. The project is expected to cost around €600,000 (ex VAT). The call for the submission of tenders for the works has closed and is currently being evaluated.
Besides ensuring a good safe ride to cyclists, the trail is meant to highlight the beauty of Malta’s natural coastline garigue and rocky shorelines. This in line with OPI pg 114 “There is also an increasing recognition of the need to conserve and protect the environment, not only as an end in itself, but also due to the strong linkages between environment and competitiveness, particularly sustainable tourism.”
Another component of the project is the restoration of the Madliena Tower and the surrounding heritage military features. The works are expected to cost around €150,000 (ex VAT) and the MEPA permit and tender for the works are in their final stages of preparation.
Director Product Development
Mr Kevin Fsadni