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3 Gozo Councils receive most applications for HM Senior Passport

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3 Gozo Councils receive most applications for HM Senior Passport9,687 applications were received across Gozo and Malta in the two month since the launch of the Heritage Malta Senior Passport.

The three local councils in Gozo that have so far received most applications are, Xaghra, Victoria and Ghasri, Heritage Malta said.

Heritage Malta and the Local Councils’ Association have said that the demand for the Heritage Malta senior passport has been “outstanding.”

Minister for Justice, Culture and Local Government Owen Bonnici stated that, “this outstanding response is in itself testament to the successes of our culture strategy, when it comes to outreach and audience engagement. In this way, we are creating more and more incentives for locals to appreciate our abundant local heritage both from an early age with the student passport, and also for our senior citizens through the senior passport.”

Around 1,000 seniors have already accessed Heritage Malta’s attractions free of charge and there were 500 youths who also accompanied them, he said.

The three most visited Heritage Malta attractions by seniors were MUZA – the national community-art museum, the National Museum of Archaeology and the Palace State Rooms. All three are located in Valletta.

Heritage Malta Executive Director Mario Cutajar said that working closely with local councils on this senior passport scheme may be a prelude to broader work aimed at ensuring that knowledge of local heritage becomes more widespread and gives new life to the collaboration between Heritage Malta and local councils, as much as it would give Heritage Malta a new dimension, as an agency by the people and for the people.

Those senior citizens who would like to receive a Heritage Malta senior passport can call in person with their identity card at their local council.

The local council staff will enrol them in the senior passport system, and the passport together with an information leaflet will be received by post from Heritage Malta.

With this passport, each senior citizen will have free and unlimited access to all Heritage Malta’s attractions in Gozo and Malta (with the exception of the closed sites and the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum).

Each senior citizen may also choose to be accompanied by one or two youths during these visits who will also be entitled to free access.

Heritage Malta said that on each visit to any of Heritage Malta’s attractions, the senior passport holder has to ensure that the passport is stamped.

With every 8 stamps collected, a reward will be given to the holder by Heritage Malta, and the holder may receive up to a total of 3 rewards.

In August, following 100 days from the launching of the senior passport, Heritage Malta and the Local Councils’ Association will be announcing the three villages or cities in Gozo and Malta from where received the highest amount of applications were received.

Heritage Malta is boosting the student passport with further opportunities during the summer holidays.

It explained that from July to September, students aged between 5 and 15, can choose to attend several exciting activities that include comic art creation, drawing sessions, English creative writing and storytelling.

Activities are against a €5 donation, however students who have collected all the stamps of Heritage Malta’s attractions can attend free of charge.

Tickets can be bought from all Heritage Malta’s sites and museums upon presentation of the student passport. The first activities will commence on Saturday, 13th July.

For further information visit www.heritagemalta.org/passport or call 2295 4300.

Photograph: DOI/Jeremy Wonnacott

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