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Malta, hot destination for events-oriented tourism

Malta is fact becoming a destination for events-oriented tourism.

18 April, 2007

The Tourism and Culture Ministry of Malta is organising international events round the year and also supporting events organised by the private sector.

Malta tourism picture

According to Tourism Minister Francis Zammit Dimech, Malta’s tourism products are in a “continuous upgrading mode.” He referred to the World Tourism Forum’s first Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2007, in which Malta has been given the 26th place among the 124 countries surveyed.

Malta, says Francis Zammit Dimech, ranks very well in the report – fifth place in travel and tourism, 11th place in ICT infrastructure, 12th place tourism infrastructure, and 16th place in national tourism perception. However, regarding price competitiveness, Malta finds itself in the 109th place and, for ground transport infrastructure, in the 60th place.

The World Tourism Forum’s first Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2007 puts Switzerland in the first place for being, among others, an extremely safe country and because its cultural resources are among the richest in the world. The report says that Switzerland is home to six world heritage sites, a significant number for such a small country.

The International Living magazine has placed Malta in the second place as the ideal country to retire to. Among the reasons for putting Malta in the second place is the fact that Malta is safe.

Malta, with a landmass of only 316 square kilometres, is home to nine world heritage sites – the city of Valletta, seven Megalithic temples, and Hal Saflieni.

Switzerland has an area of about 40,000 square kilometres.

Tourism Minister Zammit Dimech says that till some years ago, Malta’s tourism industry was dependent on sea, sun and sand. With more countries living off this industry, Malta is doing its best to diversify its tourism industry through the identification of niche markets and the promotion of these niches in foreign countries, according to Zammit Dimech.

Malta’s diversification process consists of upgrading of the infrastructure, embellishment of projects, restoration, rehabilitation, and environmental projects.

At present, projects are under way to provide more sandy beaches in Malta and Gozo. Two of these projects – the St George’s Bay project in St Julian’s and the perched beach project in Bugibba – have been completed.

Malta’s changeover to the euro in January 2008 would also help competitiveness since a high percentage of tourists to Malta come from the European Union countries that have adopted the euro as their currency, Zammit Dimech says.




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