The COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll and businesses are suffering, some more than others, with the smaller entities suffering disproportionately. Virtu Ferries is introducing a revival scheme being promoted by the Chamber. Small commercial vehicles up to 5.9 meters will benefit from discounted fares. Furthermore, with immediate effect drivers of commercial vehicle up to 5.9 meters are invited to ask a co-driver or helping hand, to accompany them free of charge, on their business return trips to Sicily or Malta.
Other initiatives include the free use of the Truckers Lounge, fast contactless check-in and flexibility of travel to and from Pozzallo and Catania. This, it is hoped will reduce the impact of the current pandemic on small businesses and encourage further trade between the Sister Islands.
The Chamber of commerce provides assistance to traders, including small traders, interested in developing commercial ties between Malta and Sicily. The Chamber will gladly put traders in contact with strategic partners, as well as help to look for possible subsidies and assist in other areas. A number of initiatives, including special offers, will be launched with the aim of revamping tourism, given the proximity of Malta and Sicily and the preference of travelling by sea with social distancing taken for granted.
The Chamber and Virtu Ferries will assist anyone interested in promoting tourism between the neighbouring Islands. With a second vessel operating on a new Malta-Catania route with effect from April 2021, Virtu Ferries will have 1,700 seats available daily, with social distancing assured.
The Virtu Business Centre, at the Virtu Passenger Terminal, is available, free of charge, to Maltese and Sicilian manufactures, traders and interested parties for promotional purposes.
The Chamber joins Virtu in auguring well for the future. Jointly we look to promoting the immediate and long term post-COVID-19 opportunities to enhance commercial ties between Malta and Sicily.