Stimulating Eco-Tourism along Dingli Cliffs : National Agricultural Policy – 04/04/2018
The National Agricultural Policy for the Maltese Islands has identified the key challenges for agricultural practices in the Maltese Islands, whilst setting up a vision for opportunities and sustainable growth. The Cliffs Interpretation Centre is dedicated to the dissemination of information about Dingli Cliffs’ main environmental, historical, agricultural and gastronomical features.
The National Agricultural Policy refers that “Current strategies in rural tourism including agro-tourism and eco-tourism are fragmented, lack coordination and do not adopt a multi-sectorial, long term approach” (MESDC, 2018, p.182). Such coordination will be an asset for the farming activities but also for tourism in general.
The panoramic Dingli Cliffs are appreciated by a wide ranging type of visitors, varying from local to foreign visitors. Dingli Cliffs offer a stunning view over the blue sea, in the rural countryside setting of the Dingli village, once consisting of farming communities and locals engaging in wild produce foraging.
The free of charge eco-tourism activities organised by The Centre, namely Free Audio-visual and Free Eco-walks are held all-year round, with summer and winter schedules.
The walking trail route which was devised by The Centre endeavours to maintain the harmony between landowners, and farmers and visitors. Such walking route highlights places of interest and rural areas whilst passing along public land to ensure that such harmony is maintained.
Through such innovative information dissemination, The Centre enhances environmental consciousness about the surrounding areas, especially when considering that there is active arable agriculture being practised in Dingli, as adequately indicated in the National Agricultural Policy, “…there are rural areas in mainland Malta such as the north-west and south-west of the island that contain an active farming population and farm landscape which could be exploited for rural tourism purposes.” (MESDC, 2018, p.182)
The Cliffs Interpretation Centre fully agrees with such a perspective as highlighted in this draft policy. The more similar initiatives the better, so that holistically with other initiatives, The Centre and other similar eco/agri- enterprises may fulfil a comprehensive holiday for such eco/agri- tourists. Such concepts will also continue to increase the winter and shoulder months’ tourism, whilst helping the rural community to prosper.