Malta’s reputation as a family holiday island was boosted last year when an American journalist placed the small Mediterranean island as one of the five safest travel destinations in the world, and a new report from the US this year confirms Malta as one of the safest vacation spots in the world.
The good news and publicity comes for Malta in a year that has seen her fortunes as a holiday spot turn around from one that had been in decline, to one that is returning to a mainstream vacation destination.
The first three months of 2007 all showed year on year improvements in the number of tourists visiting Malta.
Much of the increase in visitor numbers has come about since the Malta government reluctantly agreed to allow low cost airlines to fly from the UK and Ireland, traditionally Malta’s strongest market for holidays.
Malta has enjoyed a revival in the number of British people visiting the Mediterranean holiday island since low cost flights were introduced last year.
Hotel and holiday bookings have been up for the first time in a number of years, and Malta’s traditional market has rediscovered the island as a holiday destination.
Malta has always been a likely spot for the British, with nearly all Maltese speaking fluent English – and like the British the Maltese drive on the left.
Malta used to be governed by the British, until 1964 when Malta became independent.
The decision to allow the low cost flights came after some time of delay by the Maltese authorities, and was too late to stop a further decline in 2006 of visitor numbers.
Ryanair started flights from London’s Luton airport in November, and from Dublin three months later. Other countries with low cost airlines have also started to fly to Malta, notably from Germany and Spain.
This year’s report bears more official weight than the previous one by a travel writer, as it was compiled by the US State Department.
Commenting on Malta, the report praises the island for the non existence of organised crime, especially surprising perhaps given her proximity to mainland Italy – and closer still to notorious Sicily.
A surprise for many who have driven in Malta is that the report considers the island’s roads to be safe. But this is backed up by official EU figures showing Malta has the lowest road related fatalities in the EU.
Last year’s report helped to promote Malta’s image as a safe destination to potential tourists considering different holiday destinations.
Malta ranked as one of the top five locations for safety in the world, according to American travel writer Laura McKenzie.
In her report Ms McKenzie said of the Mediterranean holiday island ‘In Malta there is no such thing as a dark and uninviting alley, while the police force is one of the oldest in the world’.
Something the Maltese people have known for some time!
Details about Malta, including a new photo gallery and videos are available via travel guide YourMalta.com
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