In spite of its compact size, mesmerizing Malta has a plethora of incentives to tap Indian MICE planners and is steadily shooting up in prominence in terms of a business travel oriented destination. tmf India brings you 5 reasons to entice you onto your Maltese island escape!

1. Ease of connectivity
For a nation that stresses and prefers convenience in travel (and more importantly, GROUP travel), Malta happens to be a great bet. Direct flights from Dubai and Istanbul operate daily to Malta, both being the main air connectivity hubs for Indian metropolitans.

Travelling to Malta requires a Schengen Visa (that’s one BIG tick on the checklist!). Many travellers prefer stopping in Malta during a cruise as it is in the middle of the Mediterranean and poses as a major yacht mooring centre. The Maltese islands are a short flight from most European cities (less than 3 hours) and inter-city travel is a blessing with short transfer times due to the island’s compact size (316 sq km). Another impressing statistic is that in the last 5 years, the Malta Airport has been voted 4 out of 5 times as a top medium sized airport in Europe.

Popular flights operating from India: Emirates, Turkish Airlines, Lufthansa, Etihad Airways

2. Great value for money
Let’s not kid ourselves, money is a HUGE deciding factor while planning MICE travel. This is where the stunning Maltese islands will surprise you! Malta, being a member of the EU uses ‘Euro’ as the official currency. However, unlike its European neighbours, Malta offers surprisingly reasonable rates due to lower cost of labour. The tariff for a room in a luxury hotel in Malta is much lower than one in mainland Europe as is the transportation cost to travel around the city.

So, a perfect climate with clear blue seas and breathtaking views, and at reasonable prices! Hurry up event planners, what exactly are you waiting for?

3. Perfect blend of history, architecture and landscape
If you’re looking to visit an immensely beautiful location that is steeped in history, Valetta is the place for you. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the city offers captivating views that will transport you to the Renaissance era. Make sure the team indulges in a leisurely stroll while exploring its winding streets and pay a visit to the iconic St John’s Co-Cathedral built by the Knights of Malta in the 16th Century or soak in stunning views of the Grand Harbour from the Upper Barrakka Gardens.

If you’re keen on a more peaceful atmosphere to unwind after your meetings, head to Gozo – the tranquil island is located just to the north of Malta. You can stroll around the capital of Victoria and pay a visit to the Cathedral of Assumption, or hike around the coastline around Dwerja. The island of Gozo is a ferry ride away from Malta and if you aren’t pressed for time, make sure to stop by at the tiny island of Comino, located between the two. You could also pay a visit to the silent city of M’dina during your stay.

Interesting Fact: Movies like Munich, parts of Gladiator and Troy were shot in Malta. (We bet you want to visit now!)

4. Top-notch MICE facilities
Due to its all-year round temperate Mediterranean climate, Malta is an event planner’s delight! The island offers 3,500 rooms in 5-star hotels and a number of unique venues with a solid track-record in hosting meetings and incentives. English is one of the official languages and travel operators are multilingual making event planning around the island a dream. Top class hotels have experienced personnel trained to handle the varied magnitude of events.

Popular venues to host your next MICE: Malta Fairs & Convention Centre (MFCC), Mediterranean Conference Centre (MCC), Hilton Convention Centre and InterContinental Convention Centre.

5. Gastronomic delight
The fact that Indians love their food is a No Brainer! Malta delivers on this respect with some fabulous traditional rustic dishes that use local produce including freshly caught fish. Make sure your team indulges in the freshly baked bread popularly known as ‘Hobz’, a Maltese speciality similar to sourdough. A main course favourite would be the fenek – a rabbit fried in olive oil served with spaghetti or baked in a pie. If your team comprises fish-enthusiasts, they must sample the torta tal-lampuki, a local speciality that is fried or baked in a pie. Wine Connoisseurs are in luck as Malta produces some truly refreshing wine that acts as the perfect drink to wash away the stress of the day’s meetings. Try the Meridiana, a truly delicious variety.

Where to eat: Bouquet Garni located in Mellieha at the north of the island, Gululu – a casual Maltese diner situated in the picturesque St. Julian’s bay and Nenu The Artisan Baker, in Valletta are some wonderful options to sample Maltese Cuisine. However, if you’re missing the good old Indian cuisine and looking for something closer to home, head to Sharma Ethnic Cuisines in M’dina or Garam Masalaa at Msida, both offering a range of exciting Indian dishes.

To know more about hosting your next #MICE activity in Malta, make sure you attend The Experiential Planner MICE Roadshow 2017 – tmf’s flagship exhibition for the event industry in India. Blue Marble Destination Services is exhibiting there.

Your contact at tmf India
Karishma Hundalani
Managing Director
karishma@tmf-dialogue.in