Tourism is one of the most important economic sectors in the Maltese Islands, with a significant contribution to the gross domestic product. The latest draft document of the Tourism Policy 2015-2020 has been planned to enhance the tourism product of the Maltese Islands in line with the concept of sustainability. The three guiding principles of the draft policy are directed at managing tourist numbers, increasing quality tourism and reducing the effects of seasonality in tourism. The Cliffs Interpretation Centre is also contributing to the needs of tourism in the Maltese Islands.
Seasonality and visitor numbers
The Tourism Policy aims to decrease the dependency on summer mass tourism, whilst promoting Malta as a hub for active tourism, by which nature and culture are put to the forefront. “The winter months present the greatest financial strain for tourism operators and the economy. The key challenge is how to successfully stimulate more demand during this period of time” (pg. 11). Seeking new markets segments during the off peak months is crucial. In fact, The Cliffs Interpretation Centre has been factoring for the low season tourism by offering such packages during the winter months, promoting sustainable green growth in the economic and environmental sectors. By promoting shoulder month tourism, The Cliffs Interpretation Centre is helping to spread tourism demand, not just during a few weeks in summer but also throughout the year.
“This Policy specifically outlines managing visitor numbers as the process for sustainable tourism development on the Maltese Islands” (pg. 10). The Cliffs Interpretation Centre ensures visitor numbers in its upgraded tourist excursion package. The maximum number of visitors that can interact in the tour packages factors for the environment and aims to reduce any negative impacts associated with large number of visitors at any one time within the countryside along Dingli Cliffs.
“With tourists placing more emphasis on destination distinctiveness and uniqueness and as increasing quantities of discerning travellers seek travel experiences with a difference, the issue of quality takes centre stage” (pg. 11).
Since its inception in 2012, The Cliffs Interpretation Centre has focused on providing an innovative tourist experience that highlights the environment, history and archaeology, gastronomic potential and the local produce at Dingli Cliffs and the surroundings. The Cliffs promotes the learning of authentic ways of local life together with other assets of the surrounding areas.
Blending the environment, tourism and local aspects has always been seen as crucial for the day-to-day running of The Cliffs Centre. The upgraded tour packages provide a recreational and informative experience of Dingli Cliffs, with the input of authentic local personnel. The visitors can enjoy to choose from two trails amongst other activities.