MTA Wins Big In London’s Travel Industry Awards

The Malta Tourism Authority has once again been awarded the ‘Tourist Board of the Year’ Award at the prestigious Travel Industry Awards 2021 by TTG held in London. This is the fourth time that this prestigious award was won by the MTA after successfully clinching the trophy in 2016, 2017, 2019 and 2021.

The Travel Industry Awards by TTG, in association with Virgin Atlantic, brought the travel community together to celebrate the businesses that have grown stronger through the Covid-19 crisis, and helped to highlight the most trusted travel brands for consumers.

In a year of setbacks and challenges for travel, companies and individuals have been tested to their limits. Yet rather than lose heart, they have faced the pandemic and fought back, supporting their customers, and proving their steadfastness, adaptability and innovative thinking.

“I am so pleased that MTA UK & Ireland were named Tourist Board of the Year 2021 at the TTG Travel Industry Awards this week. The team have worked hard with our trade partners and travel agents throughout the past 18 months to train them up on Malta, Gozo and Comino and what we have to offer their clients. Our work with our trade partners despite the difficult situation was ongoing, robust and agile and the team have overcome many hurdles to ensure our relationships stay strong and have endured the hard times. I could not be prouder that their hard work has been recognised and want to thank them for their ongoing dedication to promoting our beautiful islands,” Tolene Van Der Merwe, Director of the MTA UK Office stated.

“Having the Malta Tourism Authority receiving such an important award is of sterling news for the hospitality industry. Considering the challenges of kickstarting a tourism industry that was hit by the worst crisis in history, it can be said that tourism traffic to the Maltese Islands progressively improved week after week and numbers are growing still even though the traditional peak of summer has now passed. In the light of this encouraging results, I would like to congratulate MTA’s Director in the UK and her hardworking team for doing their part in strengthening Malta’s touristic prospects in the UK market. The perseverance and commitment displayed in the past months is a pure showcase of how the Malta Tourism Authority is turning challenges into new opportunities for the years to come,” remarked Minister for Tourism and Consumer Protection Clayton Bartolo.

“We are extremely proud of the UK market team in London and in Malta who have once again proven to share the same resilience, determination and work ethic which has become somewhat synonymous with the Maltese people, even more so during the COVID-19 pandemic. The two teams have worked hard to keep Malta and Gozo on top of mind with the UK trade and public throughout the pandemic to make the recovery phase as fast as possible. It is these qualities that have made our UK office shine through once again during this year’s Travel Industry Awards. We look forward to continuing our work in the United Kingdom, which is Malta’s biggest market after the positive start that we have had, despite all the challenges,” Carlo Micallef, Deputy CEO and Chief Marketing Officer of the MTA stated.

Article credits: https://www.mta.com.mt/en/news-details/325
Colours of Malta receives the QA seal

The Quality Assured (QA) seal is a Malta Tourism Authority voluntary quality recognition scheme aimed at businesses offering high levels of quality, consistency and professionalism. The QA seal covers three key tourism business operations, namely restaurants, visitor attractions and destination management companies (DMCs). The participating businesses are assessed either annually or once every two years.

The QA seal was launched in 2008 for DMCs and in 2009 the first companies were awarded. In 2010 the first visitor attractions were awarded and in 2015 the first restaurants were awarded. Colours of Malta are proud to have been awarded the QA Seal since its conception.

The criteria are specific to each category and different methods of assessment are used. The seal is awarded once the QA Monitoring Committee of each category receives and approves the assessor’s report.

See more at: http://www.qualityassuredmalta.com

Malta government just announced M.I.C.E Business Scheme

The Malta Tourism Authority is committed to support tourism operators to confirm M.I.C.E. business to the Maltese Islands. This scheme is targeted to incentivise foreign corporate clients and associations to choose Malta and Gozo for their M.I.C.E. events in 2021 & 2022.

The M.I.C.E. segment is a very important component of Malta’s tourism industry. It is known to generate a higher than average spend per tourist and important tourism traffic in the shoulder months. The Malta Tourism Authority is committed to continue investing in this segment of industry in it’s recovery and long term sustainability. This scheme is being launched with this objective.

Applications can be submitted directly by the corporate client, Professional Conference Organizer, licensed Destination Management Companies (DMCs), Hotels and Audio-visual companies for tourism travel specifically for M.I.C.E (i.e. meetings, incentives, conference, and exhibitions) activity.

Support
A contribution will be granted towards each international delegate /registered attendee effectively travelling to attend or participate in a meeting, incentive, conference, or exhibition happening in Malta and Gozo in 2021/2022.

Application
Support under this scheme is subject to approval and is awarded at the sole discretion of the Malta Tourism Authority.

Applications can be submitted online on www.bit.ly/micescheme

Terms & Conditions
Any event can be supported one time only.
Applications will be handled on a first come first served basis.
Support is only payable post event.
Group size should not be less than 10 persons with a minimum stay of 2 nights in Malta or Gozo.
M.I.C.E. event program must showcase the destination in the best possible manner. Quality of service and product must always be ensured.
M.I.C.E. event spend in the Maltese Islands that can be submitted as proof of expenditure per delegate may include costs related to hotel accommodation, ground transportation, dining, excursions, team building activities, event production and logistics. International flights or other means of travel to and from the Maltese Islands are not eligible to be included in the calculation of expenditure per delegate.

Download The M.I.C.E Business Scheme Document here: https://www.mta.com.mt/en/news-details/295

Westin Dragonara Resort awarded ‘Superior’ label by the Malta Tourism Authority

The fully refurbished Westin Dragonara Resort has been awarded the ‘Superior’ label by the Malta Tourism Authority.

“Our thanks go to all our guests, customers, associates and owners for their continued support. We couldn’t have asked for better news to conclude the recent €40m investment made to the property, including amongst many others the full refurbishment of the entire hotel as well as the installation of our 1,000 photovoltaic panels which help keep our carbon footprint in check” they announced on Facebook.

The Westin Dragonara Resort. The gateway to luxury in Malta.
Malta Tourism Authority about reopening Malta’s tourism infrastructure

The procedures explained in this document have been formulated for a number of tourism establishments and other tourism receiving operations to ensure rigid compliance in the fields of social distancing, enhanced hygienic practices and the minimisation of COVID-19 infection risks by establishments and operations re-opening for domestic and foreign tourism use following their closure earlier this year.

The procedures have been formulated bearing the advice made available by the International and Maltese Health Authorities as well as by drawing from best practice from other tourism receiving countries which is being constantly monitored and updated.

The objective of these procedures is to make these establishments assume self-responsibility and accountability for the introduction of additional measures aimed at addressing this extraordinary situation in a way which enshrines them in their routine, day to day management and operational practices. Enforcement of conditions falls within remit of Malta Tourism Authority and the Health Authorities.

The opening of different types of tourism establishments and attractions will not take place at once but in line with the chronological sequence outlined in the National Transition Strategy.

The introduction of sector-specific mandatory conditions and checklists which need to be completed and signed on a regular basis and the availability of record logs and certificates to complement these checklists will ensure that the highest standards are kept and that a record to assist inspections in checking that commitments which have been signed for by management are being respected and applied.

The available checklists are for:
• Accommodation Establishments (two separate sections for Collective Accommodation and Holiday Furnished Premises)
• Catering Establishments
• Outdoor Establishments including Lidos, Swimming Pools and Outside Entertainment Areas
• Beaches, Beach Establishments and Beach Concessions

The document also contains an appendix with Additional Notes and References for consultation and use by establishments to enable them to keep abreast of developments and guidelines as updated from time to time.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Re: PROTOCOLS

Q. When will these new measures come into force?
A. Friday, 22nd May 2020

Q. My restaurant has both indoor and outdoor areas. Where can I serve my patrons?
A. You can serve customers both indoors and outdoors.

Q. What is the maximum number of persons sitting at one table inside or outside?
A. Six. Indoor dining is also restricted, with the number of people inside the premises. This is limited to 1 person for every 4 sqm plus the distance from chair to chair according to the protocol. Outdoor – six can stay on the same table. Chair to chair protocol is different from that of indoor.

Q. Re distance between tables etc at outdoor/indoor facilities?
A. Indoor: the distance from the back of a chair to the back of another the chair behind it shall be 2 metres apart any other direction 3 metres. Outdoor: the distance from the back of a chair to the back of another the chair behind it shall be 1 metre apart any other direction 2 metres.

Q. What about smoking?
A. Smoking is prohibited both inside and outside. Any person that wants to smoke shall do so at least 10 metres apart from the nearest outdoor table.

Q. A COVID-19 compliant sticker? What is this all about?
A. The sticker is a proof that the establishment is compliant with COVID-19 protocols. Therefore the establishment has reached the highest levels of cleanliness and safety. If in the following audits the establishment is found to be non-compliant, the sticker will be removed. Customers are advised to use establishments which have the sticker on display.

Q. What is the definition of outdoor in this context?
A. Covers that are in the openair outside the premises, which are either covered but with no enclosed sides or any internal yard which does not have any form of roofing. Roofs and open balconies are also considered as outdoor.

Q. Can bars that do not serve food operate?
A. No, bars cannot open for drinks only. Snack bars are permitted to open for the time being.

Q. Can I consume drinks while sitting or standing at the bar?
A. No. Owner has to provide a waiter service and bring the drinks to your table. No one is allowed sit/stand at the bar.

Q. Will Clubs (Każini) re-open?
A. Yes. They can serve food, drinks and appetizers at the tables, following the same guidelines that apply for restaurants. If they have a courtyard or outdoor space, they are only to serve in these areas.

Q. Do I need a certification against Legionella?
A. If your premises has been closed for more than a month you are obliged to get certified against Legionella. Further info may be found: Control of Legionella Regulations LN 5 of 2006 http://www.justiceservices.gov.mt/DownloadDocument.aspx?app=lp&itemid=16567&l=1

Q. What is the temperature of a person to refuse entry in the premises.
A. The temperature of any person over 37.2 on the forehead should not be allowed to enter the premises.

Q. Can I operate an indoor pool?
A. No. Only outdoor pools can operate.

Q. In toilets shall we use air flow dryers or revolving cloth towels?
A. No, air flow dryers or revolving cloth towels should NOT be used. Only Disposable paper towels (ideally from an automated dispenser) should be used.

Q. How can I keep social distance in lifts?
A. Sign at elevator entrance saying that only people in same party should use elevator together

Q. Can buffet be served?
A. No, only table service can be provided.

Q. Can we use condiments/sauces?
A. Only disposable sauces, or single use servings/bowls. Ideally all cutlery are placed in disposable bags/sleeve.

Q. Can I smoke whilst dining outside?
A. Smoking is NOT permitted neither inside nor outside. Smoking may only take place outdoors at least 10 metres away from any seating area.

Q. Can an establishment open if it does not have the MTA Compliance Sticker?
A. It is recommended that the MTA sticker is displayed before opening.

Q. Can restaurants and snack bars open before inspection, even after Friday 22 May?
A. They need to be compliant with the protocols before opening.

Q. Do premises have to close at 2300hrs?
A. If referring to catering establishments, the last order has to be taken by 2300hrs.

Q. My premises was still operating as a takeaway during these past weeks. It will now open as an indoor restaurant with a small number of tables. Do I need to carry out water certification (for Legionella)?
A. No. This only applies to those premises that were closed and have not used their storage tank water for more than a month.

Q: Regarding Boċċi Clubs: Can patrons actually play the Boċċi game? Is this allowed?
A. Yes. The game of Boċċi is an outdoor activity. It can be played, as long as the number of persons playing is not more than 6.

Q. I have a restaurant/pool. Does the 2m distance apply to people sitting at the same table of a restaurant? In the case of families spending a day by the pool, does the 1-person-per-sunbed rule apply also for children?
A. The 2m distance does not apply for people sitting at the same table, but to adjacent tables. Only one person per sunbed applies also to children. Only babies can stay on the same sunbed.

Q. According to the guidelines. cutlery has to be served in a paper bag, sealed. Can we use stainless steel cutlery or does it have to be single use?
A. You can continue to use the same cutlery as before. The guidelines have recommended that cutlery be placed in plastic bags, paper wrapping or otherwise.

Q. Can a restaurant just cover the hand dryer, without removing it?
A. Yes, they can just cover it properly so that it cannot be used.

Q. At our restaurant we have always washed dishes by hand. Must we invest in a dishwasher?
A. No, as long as dishes are washed thoroughly in hot soapy water and dried using disposable paper towels.

Q. What about diving?
A. Scubadiving is allowed as long as there are no more than 6 persons in the group and that divers use their own equipment.

Q. Where can I get more information?
A. You can contact the MTA’s Helpline on 21692447 or email tourismcovid-19helpline@visitmalta.com

Eleven beaches gain Blue Flag status

The Malta Tourism Authority welcomes with satisfaction the announcement by the Foundation for Environmental Education in which eleven beaches in Malta and Gozo were awarded the coveted Blue Flag status for this year. For the beaches to qualify for this prestigious award, a series of stringent environmental, educational, safety-related and access-related criteria must be met and maintained.

The beaches that have obtained the eco-certificate this year are Buġibba Perched Beach, Fond Għadir (Sliema), Golden Sands Beach, Għajn Tuffieħa Bay, Mellieħa Beach, Qawra Point Beach, St George’s Bay (St Julian’s) and Westin Dragonara Beach Club St Julian’s (managed by Westin Dragonara Resort) in Malta, and Ħondoq ir-Rummien Bay, Marsalforn Bay and Ramla Bay in Gozo.

Let's go that extra mile!
Colours of Malta Quality Assured