Malta Today

The tiny island of Malta is no bigger than the Isle of Wight. The islands are most well-known in the United Kingdom as a holiday destination famous for its beaches, bays, clear blue seas and a benevolent climate. To the older generation their role in World War II is best known and current awareness of the islands is contributed to by their use as a film location for major Hollywood films such as Gladiator. The islands profile will shortly be raised again for its role as the location for the new “blockbuster” Troy. The British influence is still very strong and this is a reassuring element for holiday makes, from short stay to long stay and across all ages. Cars driving on the left, red telephone boxes and particularly the widespread use of the English language have long encouraged British visitors, who used to make up 75% of visitors to Malta. In recent years the islands Mediterranean location has attracted many visitors from across Europe and this is increasing and will continue to do so given the current European Union application.

Valletta, built in 1566 and now declared a World Heritage City, is Malta's capital city: The narrow streets contain some of Europe's finest art works, churches and palaces, historic and cultural sites. Amongst the islands attractions are the Grand Master's palace; The Blue Grotto and the medieval citadel at Mdina.

Malta’s tourism is moving away from the traditional 'sun, sand and sea' product to a higher quality holiday with a culture and heritage perspective. The tourist industry is vital to the republic, attracting over one million visitors annually. Tourism accounts for 27% of full time employment, in the order of 41,000 jobs. There is currently change in the make up of UK tourists to Malta away from resort package tourists to more upmarket, quality and shorter stay tourists and with a shift towards heritage and cultural visits. Links with Britain are still very strong in terms of both family and older holidaymakers and regular holiday resort loyalty.



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