You're Ready for Malta
Posted on 12/19/2017
At this year’s USTOA Conference & Marketplace in Hollywood, Florida, president and CEO Terry Dale noted how “Malta is a rising star.”
Dale is right. Tourism to Malta is surging, growing by 35 percent in just one year.
The country is also the darling of many industry “it” lists, raking in accolades as one of the top places to visit next year from Conde Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, Lonely Planet, Architectural Digest, Frommer’s and Fodor’s.
What makes visiting Malta such good idea?
A rich history, English-speaking locals and an easy-to-navigate destination are just a few of the reasons. The country also has one of the largest concentrations of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and will be the 2018 Capital of Culture in Europe.
Clearly, Malta’s many draws are wooing tour operators.
“Over the past four years, USTOA tour operator members, along with the press, have widely recognized that this is definitely a country to be seen and heard from,” said Dale. “Malta’s proactive presence in the U.S. market is making a huge difference in the minds of tour operators as well as consumers and that’s great economic news for Malta."
Michelle Buttigieg, Malta Tourism Authority representative North America, also noted a growing interest:
“Since MTA rejoined USTOA four years ago, Malta has continued to increase the number of tour operators who are requesting to add Malta to their itineraries and those who are expanding their Malta tour product, has grown to about 30 in 2017."
Malta made a big splash at USTOA this year. The destination was a sponsor of the World Bazaar, bringing along a delegation of DMCs and hoteliers that showcased the world-class caliber of the country.
Malta’s guests included Jason Allan from Exclusively Malta; Alexandra Bajada of the Corinthia Palace Hotel; Ian and Francesca Tonna from United Travel; and Chiara Hensel Ellul from Le Meridian Hotel.
Fashion designers Charles & Ron and Mdina Glass contributed Maltese products for the Malta table at the World Bazaar as well.
It is likely many U.S. travelers have only just begun to hear about Malta. As its popularity begins to soar, its sunny weather, attractive beaches, thriving nightlife and 7,000 years of history are sure to continue to draw in many.
PHOTO: Valetta is Malta's unique capital city. (photo via Flickr/Berit Watkin)