Advantages and Disadvantages of Public –Private Partnership
The aim of engaging in public –private partnerships in Malta is to improve the competitive situation within and in the process to gain competitive advantage through increasing productivity (McElroy, 2003). However, the concept comes with different advantages and disadvantages.
Cost reduction: Reduction of cost is an important aspect of PPPs since it leads to the creation of value for money, whereby a project with the same quality as conventional procurement is delivered at a lower cost (Pongsiri, 2002). For example, through engaging in PPPs, Malta has been able to achieve cost economy not only on the side of capital project constructions but also in maintaining and operating its services.
Private Sector Management skill: Proper management within the private sector ensures that a project is completed on time (Hodge & Greve, 2005). Therefore, the use of PPPs in infrastructure investment enables the government to have complete access to the new skills in the private sector. For example, in the planning of the construction of the main road to Valletta, the government of Malta engaged the management skills of the private sector in the areas of research and in determining the different approaches to be used in the construction of the infrastructure.
Responsibility issues: The provision of services under private-public partnership to the public that is mostly comfortable with the traditional method is usually complicated. In most cases, the public has criticized the partnership and demanded a greater involvement of the government to ensure there is a rapid response to the demands of the public (Bult & Dewulf, 2008). For example, the slow rate by which the infrastructures of Valletta were being upgraded caused a major concern for the people who accused the contractors of laxity and demanded government involvement (Oglethorpe, 1984).
Corruption: A long-term concession for infrastructures often offers one-off opportunities for private sectors to win government tenders. The Avenue creates a big avenue for corruption through ensuring the task is undertaken through PPPs (Pongsiri, 2002). In most cases, private sector engages in bribery and political donations to ensure they capture the given contracts.
Interactive planning is a form of participative planning that is often based on the concept that the activities involved in the planning are much more vital than the actual plans produced. Interactive planning is usually based on the idea that by doing something good for the present more will be achieved in the future (Sautter & Leisen, 1999). The development of tourism in Malta has been on a high-rise compared to other European countries. The development can, thus, be maintained through an interactive plan that is supported by sound tourism policy. The most significant aspect of interactive planning systems to the development of tourism in Malta is that it helps in the development of tourism market by stating the needs of the tourist. Interactive planning, thus, plays a significant role in maintaining the proper security and safety for tourist who visits Malta.
On the other hand, the community concept or approach of planning mainly focuses on certain aspects under which tourism takes place. The aspect includes both political and social context. The planning approach further gives power to the community to be in control of any development aspect regarding tourism (Sautter & Leisen, 1999). The community members are considered as the main players in the approach as they are used in creating awareness for the process of development and promoting public participation.
Factors that Hinders Sustainability
Sustainable tourism development refers to the concept of advancing the quality of life through economic criteria and human dynamics regarding environmental conservation and protection. The fact that tourists in Malta mostly use the resources as per their needs and within the given limits is an aspect that has helped to sustain the development of tourism in the country. The barriers to effective sustainable tourism development in Malta, therefore, include:
Lack of awareness: When the locals are not educated on tourism issues, they tend to lack the awareness and knowledge to help in sustaining development (Briassoulis, 2002). Malta’s tourism planning is mainly based on the community approach, and lack of awareness will be detrimental in sustaining certain aspects such as cultural values and natural environmental preservation.
Poor Infrastructure facilities: Lack of proper infrastructure such as enough roads and rail systems hinders navigation within the various destination sites and their accessibility. Poor facilities, especially low standards hotels and services are other aspects that tend to drive away tourists. Therefore, tourists tend to avoid countries with poor infrastructure in preference to other countries with good infrastructure.
Competition: The high level of competition in the global tourism market is another factor that hinders sustainability in Malta. Every country is striving to make itself a tourist preferred destination forcing the established countries to look for extra resources to remain on top of the market.
Stages in Planning
Stage 1: Sustainability is needed to determine which areas of the industry require further improvement and which areas are up to standards within the sector.
Stage 2: The main aim or objective is to identify tourism ability to develop within a country while at the same time empowering the community to preserve its culture and ensuring the natural heritage of the given country is well protected (Jamal & Getz, 1995).
Stage 3: According to the information from Malta’s Tourism Authority, there is high improvement regarding the effort made towards developing and sustaining tourism. According to the report, there are 50 Parish Churches that have been placed under protection as cultural and heritage sites (McElroy, 2003). The statistical data report further indicates that the highest tourist motivator was the good climatic condition at 57%, new destination sites at 41.7% while history and culture were at 39.2%. The highest motivating factor was Malta’s hospitality 13.5% (McElroy, 2003). The main problem is how to develop tourism in a sustainable manner to enhance quality and protect socio-cultural and environmental resources
Stage 4: The main plan is to carry out an intense study of the environment where the projects are being implemented.
Stage 5: A clear path is then formulated to be used in evaluating the sector proposal from both, the sector and how the project is aimed at environmental and social protection.
Stage 6: The main advice to the authority is to engage only with tourism projects by the private sector that protect the environment and general social welfare of the public
Conflict of Interests
One of the most challenging tasks towards sustaining tourism development is the issue of conflict of interests. In the case of Malta, the main conflict arising is the conflict of interest that usually arises between the local stakeholders and the government. Most of the government planning towards sustainability if often done at the local level and this aspect often gives rise to a conflict of interest due to the different opportunity and interest that the two sides expect (Glaesser, 2006). The main point of contention is often on how the benefit is going to be shared with the local stakeholders and the government, the resources to be used and who is to be in charge and the issue of short term planning. Furthermore, the location of the given tourism plan might give rise to a major issue as it might extend into the farming fields of the local communities who might not be willing to give the land.
The main approaches that have often been used to resolve such conflict of interest in Malta have been through intense negotiation between the warring parties. In a case where the government has felt that the project is necessary and should proceed, the locals are often compensated and incorporated in the management and awareness policy of the tourism project.
Sustainable Tourism Development for Balancing Supply and Demand
The producers of the tourism products need to maintain the balance between supply and demand (Font & Ahjem, 1999). Demand in this aspect can be described as the quantity of any product that is desired by the consumer. Consumers tend to demand any product they want at the price they desire (Lordkipanidze, Brezet & Backman, 2005). Therefore, the demand for tourism can be said to be the number of people who move from place to place by using industrial tourism facility. As the demand for tourism products increases, the country faces an influx of tourists who need efficient airlines, suitable hotel resorts and good infrastructure such as roads that will enable them to navigate through the various destination sites (Bramwell & Lane, 2000). Besides, the increase in demand leads to the formation of international tourism bodies such as ABATE and World Tourism Organization which aid in the promotion of tourism products. Other supply includes the offering of integrated banking services such as visa plan that allows a tourist to use his visa within the destination country.
Moral and Ethical Issues of Enclave Tourism
Enclave tourism can be described as the aspect of engaging in tourism in certain destinations where tourist activities are within a small geographical area, to allow the tourist to get his/her experience without having to navigate to remote areas of the host country (Anderson, 2011).
One of the moral and ethical issues of enclave tourism is that the local communities tend not to benefit much from the concept. For example, the major islands in Malta have been dominated by several cruise liners that encourage the tourists who use them not to spend any money or their time outside the ship which is unethical since the local community does not benefit from the development of tourism within the region (McElroy, 2003). Another ethical issue is that enclave tourism has resulted in increased immorality within the host nations. For example, in Malta, there was an increased rate of prostitution; including child prostitution. At the same time, the rate of drug trafficking has increased leading to a significant rise in crime rate. Other issues include environmental issues which arise as a result of poor disposal of water within the Island.
It is, therefore, advisable for these companies or industries to commit the kind of tourism they engage into the host countries. Every tourism activity that happens within the territory of Malta should be beneficial to the community. Therefore, laws should be enacted so that the countries benefit from the touristic activities.