With Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) delegates contributing up to four times more value than the average leisure tourist, the sector’s capacity to create wealth and jobs and drive growth cannot be overstated. This illustrates both the need to ensure that this lifeblood sector develops sustainably, as well as bringing to light the need for greater diversification.
Malta is one location able to point buyers and event organisers to the most inspired destinations, infrastructural, venue and accommodation upgrades and developments, partnerships and projects. In practice, this means an increasing incidence of technology at every turn of the visitor experience; a greater prevalence of larger, yet less frequent events; augmented reality and virtual reality presentations; more holistic, collaborative and tailored experiences; sustainability and wellness being higher up the agenda, as well as; increased digital investment to allow for the involvement of those not able to attend in person.
Whether it’s connectivity or regeneration, Malta scores highly, while ‘Conventions Malta’, the MICE arm of the Malta Tourism Authority (MTA) provides a range of services encompassing advice, support, the facilitation of connections with quality assured DMCs, amongst much else besides. Meanwhile, it has been noticeably successful in attracting MICE visitors from North America, as well as those closer to home, aided by new air routes and a refurbished airport. Furthermore, there is now talk of creating additional capacity to allow more cruise liners to be accommodated, since this means of entering Malta is rapidly growing in popularity.
Even with a huge uplift in its popularity in recent years, Malta remains a great value-for-money destination.
In addition, to complement its array of beautiful historic buildings, a host of infrastructure, venue and accommodation developments and upgrades in recent years has helped this Mediterranean gem post year-on-year growth, assisted by enhanced air connectivity that has acted to boost Malta’s prospects as a business destination, as well as venues able to accommodate up to 5000 people for dinner. On top of this, hotel owners are investing in refurbishment, so increasing rooms and upgrading services, aided by an initiative which granted permits to increase bed stocks.
Furthermore, Malta’s ‘Access All Areas’ initiative which is centred around a narrative of everything being within easy reach, has served to further distinguish the location, by leveraging Malta’s compact quality to bring into play the whole nation’s assets.
With Malta’s capital, Valletta, having earned the coveted status of European Capital of Culture in 2018, this acted to catalyse regeneration of the waterfront in advance of the year in question, so enriching the visitor experience, and no doubt assisting the nation in meeting its objective of more equitably distributing visitor numbers over the year. Other past highlights paying testimony to Malta’s pedigree include a Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting and an EU Summit.
Malta’s various ministries and institutions have closely collaborated to open up the island to significant increased business, while retaining the exclusivity it is so well renowned for. In this, it is helped by having English as one of its official languages, the Euro as its currency and free mobility afforded by the Schengen agreement.