Cruise Passenger Traffic Flourishing while Lower Fort St. Elmo still Rotting

In Malta we have many contrasting issues.  A good example of such contrast is that while we are experiencing a constant growth in cruise passengers, one of the most important monuments of the Grand Harbour is still abandoned.

During the fourth quarter of 2014 there was an increase of 27% in cruise passengers compared to the same period in 2013.  This year Malta once again experienced an overwhelming increase in cruise passengers; a substantial growth of some 66.4% during the second quarter when compared to 2014.  This shows that the cruise industry in Malta is constantly growing.

Some advantages of this increase are mainly linked to the economy.  The economy will directly benefit from such an increase, mainly due to more jobs, increased revenue generated from taxes and revenue generated from tourist expenditures.

However, one of the most iconic fortifications of the Grand Harbour is still abandoned.  Although the upper part of Fort St. Elmo has been refurbished, the lower part of this fort is still in a disastrous state.

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One might ask ‘Why is this important?’

First and foremost Fort St. Elmo was the main showcase during one of the most crucial events in Maltese history.  Fort St. Elmo was of utmost importance during the Great Siege and its cultural value is priceless.  It is what makes many Maltese so proud, yet this pride is fading away as the lower part of the fort is falling to bits.

Secondly, the first thing cruise passengers will see when they enter the Grand Harbour is the fort.  First impressions of a place are very important since they determine, more or less, how beautiful a place is or not.  This will in turn lead to decisions of whether the place is worth visiting or not.

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Therefore, if we want to convince more passengers to visit Malta, we must present our heritage in all its beauty.  We from ADŻ Malta Green Youth strongly encourage any restoration works at the lower parts of Fort St. Elmo.  Restoring our cultural heritage is important not only for our economy and well being but also for us to save and appreciate our unique cultural heritage.

Pascal Aloisio

ADŻ Malta Green Youth Publications Officer

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