The Islands: The Maltese archipelago consists of three main islands, Malta, Gozo and Comino which are inhabited and three smaller islands Cominotto, Filfla and St Paul’s Island which are uninhabited.
State: The Republic of Malta is a member of the Commonwealth and joined the European Union on 1 May 2004.
Location: Located in the centre of the Mediterranean, the Maltese Islands are about 100 km south of Sicily.
Size: Malta is the largest of the Maltese Islands with an area of 246 km squared. Gozo is 67 km squared while little Comino is only 2.7 km squared.
Currency: Euro. Many hotels and larger shops and restaurants also accept foreign currency.
Entry requirements: No passport control for EU passport holders as Malta is party to the Schengen Agreement.
Official Languages: Maltese and English. Many locals are multi-lingual.
Religion: around 98% of the population is Roman Catholic and there are 400 churches on the island. Many other religious denominations are also represented.
Population Density: 1,321 residents per kmsq
Time zone: GMT +1
Climate: Malta has a typical Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and mild, humid winters. Average maximum temperatures in summer can reach over 33 degrees celsius (91F) with temperatures in December dropping to an average of 12 degrees celsius (53F)
Economy: Malta offers a modern infrastructure and service sector on a par with major European countries. Malta’s economy is expected to gain momentum this year and is expected to register the second highest growth in the Eurozone, with a GDP growth of 1.5 per cent. Following EU membership, Malta started attracting several international companies which took advantage of its favourable tax rate to set up shop on its shores. Malta is increasingly becoming a major finance hub and is already recognised as the eleventh most important finance centre in the world. Smart City, an IT centre currently being built in the south of the island, is expected to create 5,000 new jobs by 2018.
Accomodation: Malta has 15 five-star hotels with over 5,500 beds between them and 41 four-star hotels with an additional 14,000 beds.
Quality Assurance for DMCs: In its ongoing drive to maintain an unparalleled standard of service, the Malta Tourism Authority awards Destination Management Companies a Quality Seal to acknowledge those companies which are committed to high levels of quality, consistency and professionalism. Quality Assured DMCs must comply with a detailed set of criteria designed to ensure the highest possible quality in event and destination management. The following are some of the requirements that a DMC will adhere to.
• The DMC has a minimum of €1,000,000 General Liability insurance cover and all key suppliers have adequate insurance coverage.
• The DMC is a financially sound company, specialises in MICE services and is a member of a recognised association.
• Staff is provided with initial and continuous training.
• The DMC guarantees acknowledgement of requests within 24 hrs and fulfils proposal requests within 72 hrs.
• During programme events at least one member of the DMC is available 24 hours a day.
• The DMC is recommended by both previous clients and local suppliers. This seal is renewed every two years.
Eco Hotel Certification: Around 15% of Malta’s hotels have been accredited with the EU Eco label, an internationally recognised standard awarded as part of the Malta Tourism Authority’s Eco Certification Scheme. The MTA audits hotels for their management and approach to protecting the environment. The scheme is directed at reducing cost, increasing profitability and reducing the impact on the environment. The ECO certification is the national scheme for ensuring the environmental, socioeconomic, and cultural sustainability of hotels on the Maltese Islands and has been recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council as fully reflecting the GSTC criteria.
The scheme was launched in 2002 and today represents over 16% of hotels covering 5-star, 4-star and 3-star categories.
The scheme covers environmental, social, cultural, economic, quality and health & safety aspects. Third party audits are carried out every two years to ensure that the hotels are meeting the requirements of the scheme.
The main areas covered by the current criteria are: Sustainability management systems; Waste management; Purchasing; Control of chemicals; Energy; Water; Air quality; Noise; Building and green areas; Local culture & national surroundings; and Communication with customers.