Located on the Coast of Gozo Island, Qala is a charming Maltese municipality, famous for its breath-taking views over the sea to Comino and Malta. Rich in history and culture, the village is considered one of the top-rated tourist attractions in the Mediterranean and is therefore eager to channel its newly-earned EUR 15,000 WiFi4EU voucher towards greater Wi-Fi connectivity and information access, facilitating new opportunities for local residents while welcoming tourists year-round.
Qala is among the winning municipalities to receive a voucher under the WiFi4EU programme, which has been very successful in Malta. During the first call in November last year, 27 Maltese municipalities applied for the initiative and close to 70% have been granted a voucher. The WiFi4EU team met with its Mayor – Paul Buttigieg – to discuss Qala’s plans to improve citizens’ access to public free Wi-Fi connectivity and boost tourism in the area.
Qala's existing free public Wi-Fi hotspots in its main square and bay continue to receive positive user feedback, which Buttigieg highlights as a key factor in the decision to apply for the WiFi4EU programme. Locals and tourists alike have experienced first-hand the benefits and opportunities afforded by Wi-Fi access - an increasingly important tool that leverages high-speed connectivity to facilitate communications within the archipelago and beyond. “The [WiFi4EU initiative] is obviously a plus for our residents”, revealed the Mayor.
Not only Mayor Buttigieg plans to take advantage of the initiative to increase digital skills of Qala’s population, but WiFi4EU will also play a key role in attracting visitors to the stunning sites of the coastal village. Recognizing the growing influence of the availability of free public high-speed wireless connectivity in the tourism sector, some of the EU-funded hotspots will be placed in the Immaculate Conception piazza and around the Belvedere, the main attractions for tourists coming to the municipality.
In regards to the next steps, the Mayor has one objective in mind: the wellbeing of Qala’s population. “We are always open [to more initiatives] as long as it is for the benefit of the residents”, declared Buttigieg, a happy Mayor of Qala, who encourages all municipalities to participate in this initiative.