The government is considering whether to use the former White Rocks complex for tourism, for sports, or a combination of both, Parliamentary Secretary Mario de Marco told Parliament.

Replying to questions by Opposition leader Joseph Muscat, Dr de Marco said the site had not been redeveloped because plans were dropped after the selected bidder requested changes to the bid conditions.

Replying to a written question, Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi said that over the past 10 years 21 tourist accommodation establishments closed in the Bugibba-Qawra area with the loss of 3,886 beds but seven new establishments with a total of 1,605 beds opened.

He said government policy was to encourage and help hotels and other establishments to improve their product and become more competitive. A number of schemes had been launched to this end, including an interest subsidy scheme.

He also pointed out that the MTA had planned upgrading projects in the Bugibba-Qawra areain cluding a large aquarium.

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