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

COM was awarded Hosts Global DMC of the Year International

Kurt Paben – Chief Executive Officer at Hosts Global

“At our Hosts Global Forum last week Colours of Malta was awarded Hosts Global DMC of the Year International.

Our most coveted award, the highest honour for a Hosts Global Member DMC, showcasing every facet of greatness in our industry…from brilliant and bold planning, flawless service execution, operational excellence, ferocious creativity, and unmatched client satisfaction, this award encompasses and epitomizes what it means to be a Hosts Global Member DMC.

davide cachia and the rest of the Colours of Malta team was nothing short of extraorindary in partnering with us to produce Hosts Global Forum.

This honour is well deserved. Go to Malta folks and you’ll see why!?

Valletta included amongst National Geographic’s top 30 exciting destinations to visit

When describing Valletta, journalists Rory Goulding and Connor McGovern suggest to their readers to visit Valletta because it is a “UNESCO World Heritage Site” and has a “skyline of battlements and cathedral domes” which were shaped by “multinational order of knights who ruled Malta from the 16th to 18th centuries”.

“Scenic terraces are set above a glittering waterfront, where wooden townhouse balconies overhang the narrow streets — add in year-round warm weather and it’s not just filmmakers who should be inspired to visit in 2024”, they continued.

They go on to describe how it is of “little surprise that filmmakers would be impressed by Valletta” as they mention how Gladiator was filmed right here in Malta and its sequel is now filming here yet again.

“And, just as with the original, director Sir Ridley Scott has used the Mediterranean light and golden rock of Malta as his canvas for recreating ancient Rome and its arenas”.

Some of the other destinations mentioned in the article include the Atacama Desert in Chile, Nova Scotia in Canada, Sierra Leone and Sikkim in India amongst many others.

Article credits: A prestigious list! Valletta included amongst National Geographic’s top 30 exciting destinations to visit (guidememalta.com
Five Intriguing Facts About Malta’s Historic Capital

Valletta, the capital of Malta, is a picturesque location that skilfully combines history, architecture, and culture. To truly comprehend the essence of this city, we will delve deeper into its interesting characteristics and peel back the curtain on its extraordinary history. Valletta’s continued attraction is impacted by its identity as the 2018 European Capital of Culture, its status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, its association with Grand Master Jean Parisot de Valette, its strategic importance, its cultural variety, and more. Consequently, OhMyMalta has compiled five interesting facts, delineating Valletta’s brilliance, and uniqueness.

Fact 1: A UNESCO World Heritage Site
The fact that Valletta is a UNESCO World Heritage Site acknowledges the importance of its architecture and history. Francesco Laparelli, a military architect, methodically planned out the whole town in the 16th century, blending Baroque construction, fortifications, and a grid system that is both practical and visually attractive. The construction of Valletta served a strategic purpose in addition to being an impressive achievement of architecture. Its construction was overseen by the Knights of St. John, who sought to build a fortress city that would protect the island and stand as a testament to their strength and dedication.

The defences of the city, including Fort St. Elmo and Fort St. Angelo, had seen better days, but the Great Siege of 1565 left its mark. The Ottomans, headed by Suleiman the Magnificent, attempted to conquer Malta during this famous conflict, but the Knights, led by Grand Master Jean Parisot de Valette, valiantly resisted. The Ottomans had to contend with strong defences, and the city’s tenacity was crucial to the Ottomans’ final loss. This period in Valletta’s history provides evidence of the importance and tenacity of the city.

Fact 2: Valletta Is The Smallest European Capital
With a land area of about 0.55 square kilometres and a population of little over 7,000, Valletta proudly claims the distinction as Europe’s smallest capital. Valletta, however, has an exceptional collection of historical, religious, artistic, and military assets despite its small size.

The beauty of Valletta is revealed in its baroque buildings, stunning artwork, and winding lanes with distinctive inclinations. Visitors may find elaborate architectural wonders, Maltese balconies with beautiful decorations, niches containing renowned saint statues, and Valletta’s characteristic antique store signs while strolling its small streets. The clever shallow steps in the city, which were once built for warriors wearing armour, provide a look into its interesting past. Well-preserved palaces and auberges from the 16th century may be seen strewn over the cityscape, each adding to the attraction of this Renaissance city. The beautiful gardens that cascade over the magnificent walls and provide tourists unrivalled views of the gorgeous bay are also not to be missed.

Fact 3: Strategic Location And Historical Significance
Valletta’s strategic location at the Mediterranean’s crossroads has made it a prized possession throughout history. Its location gives it control over important maritime routes and acts as a powerful defence against possible attackers. The defences of the city, known for their impregnability, have a long and colourful history. Fort St. Elmo is one of them and serves as a symbol of the city’s tenacity and historical importance.

The Great Siege of 1565 was a spectacular and violently fought war that is forever associated with Fort St. Elmo. The Ottomans launched a relentless attack on the fort’s walls in an effort to take Valletta. This fierce battle resulted in severe deaths on both sides, making it an important chapter in the siege’s history. Fort St. Elmo eventually fell, but not before its tenacious defence exacted a heavy price on the invaders and marked a crucial turning point in the epic war for control of the city. The history of Valletta, which is intricately linked to such occurrences, highlights its continued relevance as a symbol of resiliency and strategic significance in the Mediterranean area.

Fact 4: Home To Remarkable Art And Culture
The numerous museums, galleries, and historical places of Valletta are evidence of its cultural diversity. Visitors may travel back in time and take in the splendour of the past at the Grandmaster’s Palace, a magnificent architectural wonder. The State Rooms provide an insight into the splendour of the Knights of St. John thanks to their beautiful tapestries and murals. For those who enjoy history, the Palace Armory’s vast collection of weapons and armour is a gold mine. The National Museum of Fine Arts, which displays the creations of Maltese artists from various ages, is also located in the city.

In addition to its museums, Valletta conducts a wide range of cultural gatherings and festivals to honour its history and originality. An annual highlight, the Malta International Arts Festival, presents a broad selection of performances, exhibits, and installations. With the help of this event, the city is transformed into a thriving centre of culture that welcomes both residents and tourists from across the world.

Fact 4: Home To Remarkable Art And Culture
The numerous museums, galleries, and historical places of Valletta are evidence of its cultural diversity. Visitors may travel back in time and take in the splendour of the past at the Grandmaster’s Palace, a magnificent architectural wonder. The State Rooms provide an insight into the splendour of the Knights of St. John thanks to their beautiful tapestries and murals. For those who enjoy history, the Palace Armory’s vast collection of weapons and armour is a gold mine. The National Museum of Fine Arts, which displays the creations of Maltese artists from various ages, is also located in the city.

In addition to its museums, Valletta conducts a wide range of cultural gatherings and festivals to honour its history and originality. An annual highlight, the Malta International Arts Festival, presents a broad selection of performances, exhibits, and installations. With the help of this event, the city is transformed into a thriving centre of culture that welcomes both residents and tourists from across the world.

Article credits: https://ohmymalta.com.mt/2023/11/06/valletta-unveiled-five-intriguing-facts-about-maltas-historic-capital
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.

InterContinental Malta wins prestigious award at the 30th Annual World Travel Awards

InterContinental Malta announced that it has been recognised as a winner at the 30th Annual World Travel Awards. The iconic hotel was voted as Malta’s Leading Hotel Suite 2023: Highline Suites @ InterContinental Malta.

On 29th  September, the finest travel brands from across Europe were unveiled at World Travel Awards (WTA) Europe Gala Ceremony 2023 in Batumi, Georgia. The event took place at Sheraton Batumi Hotel, where industry elites from across the region attended the red-carpet evening.

Graham Cooke, Founder and President, World Travel Awards handed over the award to Marika Caruana Smith, Cluster Director of Sales – Luxury and Entertainment, InterContinental Malta, who commented:

“We are extremely privileged and honoured to have won another World Travel Award, winning such an accolade is a great source of pride for us. Thank you to the voice of the public, and the voice of our clients, we are very proud that our guests and partners hold us in such high esteem. To our owners who are extremely supportive, and our associates thank you for your loyalty and commitment in ensuring we constantly strive to deliver the IHG Promise to our valued guests”.

The World Travel Awards were established in 1993 to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the tourism industry. Today, the WTA brand is recognized globally as the ultimate hallmark of quality, with winners setting the benchmark to which all others aspire.

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.

Air Malta carried 970,636 passengers between April and August 2023

970,636 passengers travelled with Air Malta between the start of April and the end of last August, Executive Chairman David Curmi confirmed on Thursday.

The figure represents a 26 per cent increase from the performance of the same period last year, with the highest number of passengers being carried last month with 213,963.

“As we move into the sixth month of our summer 2023 programme, we continue to see a strong demand for travel with our airline,” Mr Curmi stated.

He added that during the reporting period, Air Malta operated to 23 destinations and performed a total of 3,238 rotations with a monthly average of 637 and a weekly average of 154 rotations. The total rotations came out at 28 per cent higher than in 2022, with the highest number of rotations being performed for routes including London Heathrow, Rome Fiumicino, and Catania.

Italy remains the top destination when it comes to passenger loads with 249,730 passengers, followed by France, the United Kingdom and Germany. The airline’s most frequented airport remains London Heathrow, followed by Munich and Rome Fiumicino.

Mr Curmi noted that it gives him “great pleasure” that despite the addition of five new routes, Air Malta still achieved an average seat load factor of 88 per cent during the five months reported. The airline recorded a high average seat load of 92 per cent during August.

“14 out of 23 routes achieved a seat load factor of over 90 per cent. The highest seat load factors were achieved on the Lisbon, Amsterdam, and London Heathrow routes at 99 per cent, 96 per cent, and 95 per cent, respectively,” he continued.

“I attribute this successful performance to the hard work, dedication, and commitment of our people across the company,” Mr Curmi concluded.

Despite the positive results, Air Malta’s future remains uncertain, with it awaiting a verdict from the European Commission on whether Government’s request to inject state aid into the airline will be approved. Back in April, Mr Curmi had said that the airline is set to wind down operations by the end of the year, with a new flag-carrier set to take its place.

Article credits: https://whoswho.mt/en/air-malta-carried-970-636-passengers-between-april-and-august-2023
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