Malta – New Laws Fight Timeshare Reps

Too many incidents of visitors being faced on the street while on holiday in Malta have prompted the Maltese authorities to take action against timeshare companies that employ sales staff to search for potential visiting buyers.

Complaints have risen in recent years from tourists who have had their time on the island spoiled by being contacted daily for presentations, which can last up to four hours, in the hope that some will buy property ownership. vacation and timeshare. .

But Malta’s tourism authorities have seen the damage it is causing to the island’s economy and have decided to act.

‘He has taken the stage in Malta’, says Roger Munns of the Malta travel guide, ‘that some tourists are being contacted daily, sometimes twice a day, by time sellers Shared that they are paid a commission for each potential buyer they convince to bring to a presentation. In addition to the feeling of not being able to leave without being approached by these people, some were verbally abusing those who refused, or simply following them down the street after they said no, and harassing tourists ”.

Since the holiday market is vital to Malta’s economy, the Malta Tourism Authority recognized that some visitors would be so discouraged from the island by high pressure from sellers that they would not return, potentially losing Malta’s millions in revenue. lost by recurring visitors.

‘In today’s world’, YourMalta explains, ‘Malta has to compete with new destinations in Europe, as well as with Spain and its islands. Cheap flights to Malta are no longer enough on their own to keep tourism at reasonable levels, although this will be welcome, but the trick to sustained tourism is having repeat business, and timeshare salespeople pestering island visitors. they are sufficient in some cases to make sure that visits are not repeated. ‘

Legislation that tourism authorities needed to be able to protect tourists was recently passed, and the Malta Tourism Authority plans to outsource security patrols to keep an eye on timeshare resellers. And in a smart move designed to effectively enforce the legislation, the Malta Tourism Authority receives around 3,000 euros for each representative that timeshare companies employ on a bond that will allow them to work in a regulated manner. Instead of waiting to take each incident to court, the MTA will fine companies that break the rules and withdraw money from the deposited bond money, and timeshare companies will have to immediately get it back up to the required amount.

Malta Holidays

Su Malta says it welcomes the stance being taken by the Malta Tourism Authority to protect visitors to the island and cites recent examples of why action has been necessary.

In two recent cases, British tourists have been attacked by timeshare representatives, young men and women, and while some were outside hotels in Malta, others were driving in cars and detaining tourists as if to ask for directions by pointing to a map. from Malta before delivering his sales pitch, with some more persistent than others.

Timeshare representatives are predominantly from the UK and target UK tourists visiting the island for good weather in Malta, with the UK being a main market for Malta. At times, British tourists have had to resort to threats of violence to stay in peace, and timeshare representatives retorted that they were just trying to make a living.

‘In truth,’ YourMalta comments, ‘While timeshare reps are trying to earn a commission, for every penny they earn they could be losing Malta’s economy a lot more with each approach they take, as tourists soon tire. from persistent efforts to sell them something they don’t want. These tourists sometimes have their entire vacation ruined and are less likely to return.

The last thing the island needs is for tourists to get off their Air Malta flight to be boarded before they arrive at their hotel with a sales pitch that reminds them of double-glazed sellers at home. The Malta Tourism Authority tells us that they will attack any culprit like a ton of bricks.

We welcome the proactive stance taken by the Malta Tourism Authority to protect the British visitor and ensure that they can enjoy their holiday, which will hopefully be the first of many in Malta. The Malta Tourism Authority is to be commended for not only acknowledging the problem, but for taking steps to ensure that the Maltese economy does not lose millions in lost revenue to disgruntled Brits who could otherwise take their spending money away. another part in the future. ”

Only time will tell if Malta can protect its visitors.

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