Backpackers Tokyo

It’s Tuesday and Noel Anderson is taking a stroll through the 16th century streets of Valletta. It strikes Anderson, who runs The Bridge 1859 and Lemon Duke bars in Dublin, that the tiny Maltese capital lacks the kind of anti-social behaviour that has dogged the centre of his native city during the pandemic.

It’s clean and safe here and there are no tents in doorways, so Malta has obviously been able to deal with these issues,” says Anderson, speaking after there was a double stabbing in Dublin city centre last week. “As a proud Dub, it takes a lot for me to say we don’t have that. Before we start getting tourists back in droves, we have to get the basics right.”

Anderson, who’s also chairman of the Licensed Vintners Association in Dublin, says more festivals, concerts and sporting events are needed to attract visitors from the rest of Ireland back to the capital because “a lot of country people haven’t come to Dublin in a long time”.

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