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Title: Tourism and COVID-19 in 2020 : the case of Malta as a small state
Authors: Briffa, Hillary Victoria
Agius, Gordon Alistair
Keywords: COVID-19 Pandemic, 2020- -- Malta
COVID-19 (Disease) -- Economic aspects -- Malta
Malta -- Economic policy
Tourism -- Malta
Sustainable tourism -- Malta
Issue Date: 2021-05
Publisher: University of Malta. Islands and Small States Institute
Citation: Briffa, H. V., & Agius, G. A. (2021). Tourism and COVID-19 in 2020 : the case of Malta as a small state. Small States & Territories, 4(1), 75-104.
Abstract: Drawing on primary and secondary sources, including interviews, legal notices, contemporary news reports, and national data, this paper examines the impact of COVID-19 on key components of Malta’s tourism sector (accommodation, food and beverage). As a small advanced economy, Malta was supported by a healthy fiscal cushion, enabling authorities to enact critical recovery measures for economic stability, and tourism promotion and upskilling. Institutional coherence and agile decision-making allowed for decisive action, whilst high social capital produced significant public compliance. These small state advantages facilitated Malta’s effective containment of the virus during the first wave, thus providing lessons for policymakers in small states to navigate the challenge. Contrastingly, the crisis of the second wave demonstrates the importance of coherent policy-making and public communication to reduce viral transmission rates, safeguard public health and enable tourism to resume safely. Tourism has suffered; but Malta’s diversified economy has allowed some sectors to remain buoyant. Recommendations are offered for investment in additional growth areas. In this way, small states may build more sustainable cross-sectoral resilience moving forward.
Appears in Collections:SST Vol. 4, No. 1, May 2021
SST Vol. 4, No. 1, May 2021

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