Tripoli, 29 August 2013:
Malta could serve as both an example and partner for Libya in the country’s efforts to become a tourist destination, following talks between Libyan and Maltese Tourism Ministers.
In her first official foreign visit since taking post last year, Libyan Tourism Minister Ikram Bash Imam said that Libya could learn from and work with Malta.
Talks focused on cooperation opportunities on educational and training programmes in tourism as well as cooperation in the field of marketing and joint promotion of tourism. There were also discussions relating to the revision of the 1995 tourism cooperation agreement.
Imam said that before 1969 Libya had been a popular tourist destination, with its fine weather, 2,000 km of coastline and five UNESCO world heritage sites. However, she said that tourism had been almost completely overlooked during Qaddafi’s 42-year rule and that Libya now needed support to re-harness its potential as a holiday destination.
Pointing out that the two countries were geographically close and good neighbours, Maltese Tourism Minister Karmenu Vella said: “We want to continue strengthening the relationship between Malta and Libya which, in the past, not only translated into economic benefits but also benefitted the tourism sector.”
The meeting follows up discussions during the visit of Malta’s Prime Minister’s Joseph Muscat to Tripoli in June. [/restrict]