Fortress Builders, which is located in Valletta, the cultural capital of Malta, has reopened its doors to tourists after being closed for more than a year.
Inaugurated in 2013 after an investment of 1.7 million financed by the European Union, the Fortress Builders – a modern interpretation centre on the history of the fortifications of Malta has had its doors closed for months on end, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
According to The Shift news, tourists will now be able to visit Fortress Builders at least twice a week.
In addition, sources from Heritage Malta say that tourism operators have put pressure on the government following the reports of The Shift online newspaper.
In this regard, a senior official of Heritage Malta pointed out that at first, Heritage Malta officials said they had to close the facility due to lack of funds, but later money was suddenly found, and then dozens of cleaners were sent for this week to clean the building so that the tourist attraction can be opened as soon as possible.
“This episode shows its management by the crisis at the agency. One manager doesn’t know what the other is doing,” he also noted.
Culture Minister Owen Bonnici, as well as Heritage Malta, did not respond to the Shift questions about why the popular attraction had been left closed for more than a year.
At the same time, employees were not given any reason for its sudden closure, and so many suspect it was another cost-cutting measure as Heritage Malta has suffered financial losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its mismanagement.
Before its closure, the building was visited by thousands of tourists every week, who were impressed by the modern equipment and the breathtakingly detailed explanations of the bastions of Malta. In addition, in 2015, the centre was awarded a Trip Advisor certificate of excellence.
Data provided by the Maltese National Statistics Office (NSO) has revealed that some 243,956 people visited Malta in June alone, spending almost 1.6 million nights in the country.
Such data show that among the main EU nationals who visited the Maltese coast were French, German, and Italian citizens, who represented a total of 36 per cent of all arrivals registered within this time frame.
The authority further revealed that half of the tourists who visited Malta between April and June stayed in four-star hotels.
As a result, the NSO said that 512,486 arrivals spent 2,261,411 nights in Malta during this period.