Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects Ian Borg and Parliamentary Secretary for Youths, Sports and Voluntary Organisations Clifton Grima attended the presentation of an economic impact assessment by Yachting Malta about the Rolex Middle Sea Race.
Minister Ian Borg said, “the yachting industry is constantly becoming stronger and more central in our country. In 2019 alone, we had 1,350 yachts visiting our ports and more Maltese people are becoming owners themselves with time. Today we have more than 2,200 berths in our yacht marinas and the facilities we offer accommodate yachts of every size. Our country is very attractive because of its beautiful sea and its central geographic position in the Mediterranean. We will continue strengthening these natural qualities with more investments in maritime infrastructure, more marinas, and more dedicated work towards quality service and training for people working in this niche's service sector."
Parliamentary Secretary for Youths, Sports, and Voluntary Organisations Clifton Grima stated that Government is committed to continue hosting international events like the Rolex Middle Sea Race and to keep on supporting such initiatives.
“Sports tourism is continuously growing. The Rolex Middle Sea Race is one of the activities that truly contributes to this new form of tourism. The Government continues to entice new visitors by offering incentives to Sports Government Corps to keep on organising international events in our country,” he said.
Yachting Malta Chairman John Huber said, “Yachting Malta has championed this economic impact assessment in recognition of what a sailing regatta with an international spectrum and with a first-class sponsor can bring to Malta. This factual assessment shall serve not only as a benchmark in spurring Yachting Malta and Government in their efforts to attract other yachting events but also as a tool for sponsors and event organizers in furthering their efforts to attract major sports events to Malta. Given our geography, Malta is also realizing the importance of yachting as an economic contributor."
From his end, Royal Malta Yacht Club Commodore Godwin Zammit added, “the Rolex Middle Sea Race is a major international yachting event which attracts over 100 yachts each year from many countries. Crews comprise almost 1,000 sailors and bring with them support teams, families and friends to Malta. The event is promoted internationally and is widely followed by the sailing world and the general public. Until now we could only presume that the event makes a significant contribution to the Maltese economy. The result of this survey has shown the real extent of this contribution, both directly as well as in long term effect of the publicity the event gives to the island, highlighting the value of such events. The Royal Malta Yacht Club is proud of the success that has been achieved over the years with the help its many volunteers put in towards this annual event."
The study shows that in 2019, the 940 people visiting our country as participants or spectators who specifically came for the race, together with the Royal Malta Yacht Club, spent around €2.3 million. In the meantime, 94 per cent of these people said they would visit Malta again. Apart from this, the PR value, thanks to good media exposure, rose to around €2.6 million bringing the total positive economic impact of this event up to €4.7 million.
During today's event, a 2019 winning Maltese team was presented with a commemorative award.