Malta one of the most googled destinations in the world

Malta is the ninth most Googled travel destination in the world, according to popular agency Wealth Media.
The island secured a comfortable spot at number 9, following Egypt, Thailand, and Cyprus.
Meanwhile, the 10th most Googled country is Morocco and the first is Greece.

#Lovinmalta

IBB Palazzo Bettina – Birgu

Yesterday we had to opportunity to visit the new IBB hotel Palazzo Bettina in Birgu. The hotel is steeped in history and its restoration has been carried out with true passion. The boutique hotel, featuring 13 luxuriously furnished suites combines ancient with modern, offering an optimal solution both for guests looking for a luxury historical dwelling with a certain flair and for those searching for an elegant, modern, and progressive solution.  The building appears to date back to the 17th century and has a long and varied history serving as a residence for several distinguished individuals and families, in particular, Elizabeth
Muscat Dorell (1741-1829), known as Lady Bettina, who also gave her name to the building.. The palazzo also served as a British military hospital in the second half of the 19th century and St Ġorġ Preca, the founder of the Society of Christian Doctrine. The Third Order Carmelite also made use of the property as one of the seats for the Society of Christian Doctrine in the inter war years.

In 2017, Palazzo Bettina was purchased by the Sormani family, who were charmed by the history of the building. With the extensive experience in recovering and renovating ancient buildings with the objective of returning them to their original splendour, they undertook this new adventure. The result of the investment can be seen in the complete renovation of the building, transformed into a luxury boutique hotel. Bought in 2023 by Bettina Investments Limited, the restoration of the Palazzo was completed back in the summer of 2021 and included the creation of 13 rooms fitted with every possible comfort and luxury.

Malta Makes It On Bloomberg’s List of Top Travel Destinations in 2024

Once again, the charm and allure of Malta have captured the attention of the global stage, earning our Mediterranean gem a spot on Bloomberg’s list of must-visit destinations for 2024.

In an article titled “Where to Go in 2024,” Bloomberg dedicated a special section to Malta, highlighting its unique offerings as an ideal travel destination.

Among a diverse array of locations globally, including cities and states of much larger scale, Malta stood out alongside Busan in South Korea, Boston, Las Vegas, Montecito, and Aspen in the United States, Argentina, Hong Kong, Halifax in Canada, Bergen in Norway, Quito in Ecuador, Transylvania in Romania, San Sebastian in Spain, Belfast in the UK, Lima in Peru, Morocco, and the enchanting island of Palau.

Bloomberg anticipates 2024 as a record-setting year for travel, with a positive outlook on overcoming pandemic fears, economic challenges, and geopolitical conflicts. The International Air Transport Association projects that 4.7 billion people will take to the skies this year, generating a staggering $964 billion from air travel alone.

For those planning their travels, Bloomberg recommends choosing Malta for a vacation in 2024. The article highlights the opportunity to explore filming locations of blockbuster movies like Gladiator and Troy, as well as the iconic settings of the Game of Thrones series. Beyond cinematic landscapes, visitors can immerse themselves in Malta’s rich historical tapestry and bask in the beauty of the surrounding seas.

On the cultural front, Bloomberg acknowledges Malta’s International Contemporary Art Space (MICAS) as Europe’s most significant museum. With a government investment of thirteen million euros, MICAS provides a platform for both local and international contemporary art exhibitions. Notably, the museum offers breathtaking views of the Port of Marsamxett.

The article also encourages travelers to mark their calendars for March to May, as Malta hosts the Maltabiennali.art, themed “White Sea and Olive Groves.” Additionally, October presents an enticing opportunity to experience Notte Bianca, when museums and historical sites open their doors to the public free of charge.

Article credits: https://maltadaily.mt/malta-makes-it-on-bloombergs-list-of-top-travel-destinations-in-2024/
9th annual Hosts Global Forum – Malta

Marsaxlokk – Malta’s fishing village

Marsaxlokk (pronounced marsa-schlock – meaning southeastern port) is a small fishing village with a population of around 4,000 located on the south-eastern coast of Malta located at the shoreline of the second largest port in Malta.

At present, this important fishing village has the largest population of active fishermen with many traditional fishing boats of all sizes anchored in the port. The Malta fishing village is a very quiet location compared to others, with few cars passing through. But at the same time it has become a very touristic location with many fish restaurants and cafes lined along the promenade. Street hawkers set up their daily stalls here selling souvenirs, clothing and all kinds of things. You will also notice there are stalls selling fresh fish. Marsaxlokk is busiest on Sunday when many people flock to the Sunday market. Many locals come on this day to buy their weekly supply of fish and vegetables.

You will still see the usual souvenir stalls and the Maltese lace table-cloths with crochet finishing many of them depicting the cross of the Knights of Malta. For those with a sweet tooth, one will find many locally baked sweets to savour and purchase.

The most popular fish in Malta are the Swordfish and blue fin tuna. During spring and autumn dolphin fish or Dorado, known locally as ‘lampuki’ is caught in abundance and is very popular with the locals. If you are lucky enough you might see the fishermen tending to their nets before they go out to sea for their next catch.

It is a village where you can relax and gently stroll around. Despite having become very commercialized, the beauty is in its old houses laden with character and typical Maltese church with the large square at the front.

 

Five Enchanting Squares In The Maltese Islands

Malta is known for its stunning coastal landscapes, rich history, and charming towns and villages. Among this island nation’s many treasures, its beautiful town and village squares, or “pjazzez”, stand out as vibrant hubs of local life and culture.

Here are five of the most beautiful squares in Malta that you should explore during your visit.

St George’s Square, Valletta
Nestled in the heart of Malta’s capital city, Valletta, St George’s Square is a stunning example of Baroque architecture. It is lined with majestic buildings, including the Grandmaster’s Palace. The entire square exudes a sense of grandeur and history. This renowned square is both aesthetically pleasing and a social hub, as it hosts numerous events and concerts throughout the year including Valletta’s New Year’s Eve party. St George’s square is a perfect place to start your exploration of the capital’s historic streets.

Mesquita Square, Mdina
Known as the “Silent City,” Mdina is a fortified medieval town that transports visitors back in time. This small square is charming and serene, with its cobblestone streets, medieval architecture, and a well in the centre. TV enthusiasts will know this is the spot where several key Game of Thrones scenes were filmed.

Independence Square, Victoria, Gozo
The quaint island of Gozo boasts its own picturesque piazzas. Independence Square, also known as Pjazza Indipendenza, is the heart of Victoria, Gozo’s capital. It’s adorned with a beautiful fountain and surrounded by historic buildings within easy reach, including the stunning Gozo Cathedral. The square is a bustling hub of activity and a great place to soak up Gozo’s unique charm. Get up early, grab a te fit-tazza (tea in a glass) at a local bar and watch the world go by.

Pjazza San Nikola, Siġġiewi
Siġġiewi is a traditional Maltese village known for its agricultural heritage, and Pjazza San Nikola (St Nicholas) is its central square. Quaint houses, a statue of San Nikola and a lovely parish church surround the square. It’s a serene spot to experience the authentic Maltese way of life and take a leisurely stroll through the winding village streets.

St John’s Square, Valletta
Another gem in Valletta is St. John’s Square. It is home to the magnificent St. John’s Co-Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The historical facades and the impressive cathedral make it a must-visit destination for art and history enthusiasts. Inside the cathedral, you’ll find an incredible display of Baroque art and architecture and, of course, Caravaggio’s famous painting of The Beheading of St John the Baptist.

These five piazzas offer a glimpse into Malta’s rich history and culture while providing a tranquil and picturesque setting for visitors to enjoy. Each square has its unique charm, making them essential stops for anyone exploring the islands. You are sure to stumble across many more throughout your stay.

So, whether you’re sipping a coffee in Mdina, admiring the Baroque splendour of Valletta, or traversing the quieter streets of Gozo, Malta’s scenic squares are sure to leave a lasting impression on your journey.

The Phoenicia Malta Among Top 3 Hotels in Southern & Central Europe by Prestigious Platform

Malta’s very own The Phoenicia has placed amongst the Top 3 Hotels in Southern & Central Europe on prestigious travel platform Condé Nast Traveler.

The globally-renowned travel platform put one of Malta’s premier hotels in third place, with a score of 96.57, placing after Vienna’s Hotel Sacher and Park Hyatt, which placed in second and first respectively. Additionally, it was also named one of the Top 12 Hotels in the Rest of Europe by the publications Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards 2023.

This magnificent feat not only served as a first for the hotel and Maltese Islands, but was also called “the result of years of investment, not only in the property, but a substantial investment in The Phoenicia Malta team.”

In a recent statement, The Phoenicia Malta owner Mark Shaw stated the following: “We are deeply honoured to be included on this prestigious list, especially as it reflects the votes and feedback of our guests. At The Phoenicia Malta, we take great pride in providing warm, personalised hospitality, and it’s truly a source of pride to see valued guests returning year after year.”

The ranking comes after more than 520,000 readers submitted responses of their travel experiences across the globe, resulting in the results of The Readers’ Choice Awards.

New airline replacing Air Malta to fly on March 31, 2024

The “new” airline which will replace Air Malta has officially been announced… and it’s bringing with it a number of changes.

The new airline will operate 17 routes instead of 37 and use eight planes instead of 10, but this time round, it’s all about the company actually registering a profit.

Three of the airline’s Airbus 320NEOs aircrafts will be brand new, bought directly from Airbus and owned by the new company.

Total employees within the company, meanwhile, went from just under 1,400 in 2010 to less than 400 this year.

As part of the revamped structure within the new airline, a series of cost cutting (also down to a smaller workforce) will see the airline’s wage costs go from a spend of €48 million to less than half of that, €22 million.

With Brussels turning down the Maltese government’s request for a €290-million State aid injection into the struggling Air Malta, the islands instead opted for a model which was used by neighbouring Italy, who recently replaced Alitalia with ITA. In fact, the European Commission gave Malta three years to run this… after which time a business partner needs to be allowed in so that it’s not state-funded.

Everything from aircraft maintenance to direct flying costs will be reduced, with a substantial change in the airline’s business model aimed at registering that long-sought-after profit margin.

Designing “the most commercially efficient network”, the new airline has also increased frequencies to existing routes like Rome, Munich, Paris (CDG), Zurich and Vienna… but other routes are now not on the roster.

Palermo, Naples, Nice, Geneva, Lisbon and Tel Aviv are the six routes which have been cancelled.

The remaining routes are now Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Catania, Dusseldorf, London Gatwick, London Heathrow, Lyon, Madrid, Milan, Munich, Paris CDG, Paris Orly, Prague, Rome, Vienna and Zurich.

With a workforce of 375 employees, the airline’s new €350 million investment (and €90 million for staff and pilots) also includes the acquisition of the London Heathrow and Gatwick slots from Med-Air.

By the third year of operations (2026/7), Copenhagen will also be added as a route.

Air Malta’s final flight will be on 30th March 2024, with the new airline’s first flights leaving the following day.

As of November 2023, Air Malta customers can apply for refund of tickets post 30th March 2024, with a recruitment process of the new airline kicking off in December.

On 1st December 2023, the new airline will start receiving bookings.

As for Air Malta’s current pilots, these will have four years to decide if they want to leave and not be a part of the new airline… but if they do, they won’t be able to ever join again.

As part of a clause in their contracts, the pilots will be given these four years to decide if they want a sum payment as part of their departure. If they do choose this, they won’t be able to work as pilots with the new airline, or Med-Air, ever again. A six-year “ban” from working within the public sector will also apply.

Read the full article: https://lovinmalta.com/news/air-maltas-final-flight-will-be-on-30th-march-2024-as-new-downsized-national-airline-announced/

 

An evening at the Phoenicia

Last night we spent an enchanting evening at Phoenicia Malta – the ideal setting for unforgettable moments. A big thanks to the exceptional team for their warm hospitality! Here’s to cherished conversations about business, current affairs, and building stronger connections.

The new Malta Marriot outdoor pool
Introducing the newly opened Malta Marriot Hotel & Spa outdoor pool. This amenity adds a touch of luxury to any guest staying at the Malta Marriott.
Local overnight packages are also available here.
Let's go that extra mile!