From the Sunday Times of Malta, August 19, 2001
Disappointed English ramblers
A group of the Ramblers` Association decided to visit Malta in spring when the countryside is at its best and when the weather
is ideal for such a holiday.
We were told that Malta would be an excellent place for rambling, country walks along the
cliffs and coastline, visiting archaeological and historical places - a patrimony which your lovely island should be proud
However we regretted coming over because wherever we went we encountered hunters and bird trappers and signs saying
"Keep Off" and "RTO", which we were told means reserved for hunting.
We were scared to death by the
constant shooting of these hunters who aimed at anything flying by. In certain places we were told in no uncertain terms to
keep away from the area.
We were so disappointed because besides coming to Malta to enjoy a rambling holiday, we were
looking at the possibility of organising regular tours for our members who number thousands all over the country. What a pity
that the most scenic and ecological areas are allocated for hunting and trapping purposes.
We understand that the Tourism
Ministry is making every effort to boost "niche tourism" in the off-peak seasons; the ramblers would have fitted
this description perfectly.
What a contradiction that one says one thing and tolerates the very opposite, i.e. discouraging
tourists from visiting the island.
Mr Nigel Bell et al., Bournemouth, England