Paul Moss is managing director of independent agency Holiday Lounge in Hinckley, Leicestershire. He has visited Malta many times, most recently on a fam trip organised by Belleair Holidays, and has gone on to be one of the specialist operator’s top-sellers, organising niche diving trips and twin-centre breaks. Here he offers his top tips on how to sell more of Malta
Top photo credit: Clive Vella, viewingmalta.com
People seem to love or hate Malta, but what really surprises me is how beautiful it is.
I’ve been there a few times but I was also lucky enough to be invited on a Belleair Holidays educational a year ago, and it opened my eyes to what was available.
We stayed at the InterContinental Hotel in St Julian’s, which is absolutely superb – it’s got its own lido area, and is in a lively location.
We also went to the Westin Dragonara Resort nearby, which is a lovely five-star, and the Hilton Malta, which has a very grand reception area and an indoor pool that is absolutely fantastic.
If you are looking at a family holiday, I’d suggest Mellieha Bay because it has the best beach on the island. We visited the Seabank Resort & Spa, which has just been refurbished – it’s got a fantastic swimming pool area and kids’ facilities. The property is all-inclusive and very family-orientated.
Further down the coast, Qawra has a beautiful promenade. I’d recommend the Canifor Hotel in Qawra, which is very popular and good value for money.
We also sent a big group of young people to the Qawra Palace recently, which has lovely views over the bay, and you can walk to Bugibba, which is busy with bars, nightclubs and restaurants.
Malta has everything from self-catering apartments up to five-star hotels, so it caters for all budgets, and prices are quite reasonable.
The climate is Malta’s major appeal – it’s nice year-round, and is about 16C in January.
I would target couples and more mature clients, especially as you can also cruise out of Valletta, so you could make it a two-centre.
There’s a very good bus service around the island, so if you wanted to go to Mellieha Bay for a day or two on the beach it’s easy to do. Car hire is also very cheap and you can drive to the ferry and go to Gozo.
Valletta is a highlight for me; it’s very cultural, with lots of history and cathedrals to visit, although a lot more modern than I anticipated. It’s a superb place.
There’s even some really good nightlife on offer. If you go down to St Julian’s or Paceville the fun goes on until the early hours.
The island also has a fantastic festival called Ghanafest in the middle of June. All the locals come out to watch the procession through the streets, and there’s lots of Maltese folk singing, with fireworks and a carnival atmosphere.
Diving is also very popular, and we have a national diving centre near here so I approached the owner and put together a seven-night package for groups to go on three dives, with lots to see and do in between.
It worked well as there are a lot of dive sites. Some of the hotels have their own diving centres as well.
The people are really friendly on the island and the accommodation is superb. I would tell anybody to give Malta a go, because you might be surprised by how much it has to offer.
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