Malta was traditionally viewed as a mass market tourism destination. However, recently it shifted away from this and moved towards a more lucrative high value quality-of-life-oriented tourism. This has moved this tiny Mediterranean island further up the value chain and made it a mainstream tourist destination.
Malta offers a diverse product, with the main attractions being its rich culture and history, sea and nightlife. Other visitors seek Malta for its diving sites, conference and incentives venues and language schools. For those interested in archaeological structures, Malta possesses numerous sites of national heritage, including the hypogeum and seven megalithic temples tha are listed as World Heritage sites.
Each year Malta hosts over one million visitors and this accounts for 23% of GDP. Thirty per cent of the Maltese population is directly employed in this fast growing sector. The tourism sector in Malta helps to diversify the economy through increased employment, investment as well as foreign currency earnings.
In recent years there has been a growth in cruise liners calling in at the picturesque Grand Harbour, using Malta as a port of call as well as a home port where cruises start and end.
MTA was set up in 1999 by the Malta Travel and Tourism Service Act. It advises government on tourism operations, on the planning and development of the tourism industry, on the infrastructure supporting the industry and it also issues licenses under the Act.
MTA is responsible for regulating and motivating the tourism industry in Malta.
It is practically its business partner and the country’s brand promoter. Its role is to form, maintain and manage meaningful partnerships with all tourism stakeholders.
The Authority works closely alongside its private sector partners. It works hard to strengthen the industry’s human resources, ensure the highest standards and quality of Malta’s tourism product and foster relations with local and international media.