Places to visit and things to do in Malta
Over the years the leisure traveller to Malta has changed their profile in no small way and whereas in the past the tendency was to cater for a tourist who is mostly attracted by sun and sea, today the tourism industry is aware that visitors to Malta want more from their stay. Travellers want more quality things to do and see. This has seen a rise in those visitors who venture further afield and explore Malta more widely. The millennial tourist seeks to explore more history and culture and tends to want to participate more in local events and activities. This demand has therefore seen the Maltese tourism product develop and the island now offers a full year round events calendar, more attractions to visit and a plethora of things to do.
The Malta Tourism Authority has been responsive to these changes and has worked closely with the stakeholders in the industry to develop various niches and address the new trends. The drive has also been to improve the quality of the tourism product and indeed the authority has embarked on different initiatives to support and promote it. In view of this in 2009 the MTA launched the Quality Assured seal for visitor attractions with the first certification taking place the following year. This was considered as the next step in raising the bar for quality experiences during one’s stay in Malta. The scheme is based on recognised international good practice and the Malta Tourism Authority worked closely with Visit England to develop it.
With the increase of individual travellers looking for a unique experience in Malta the QA seal is deemed as a tool to establish a list of quality attractions in Malta and Gozo. The benefits of the introduction of the QA seal is that over the years the attractions involved in the seal have made efforts to improve their product through various measures. The various attractions have invested in restoration, improving interpretation and also presentation. Some attractions have even made use of EU funds to be able to invest more heavily in their attraction. These benefits are being transferred to the visitor through offering a better quality, all-round experience.
The MTA aims to attract and certify a variety of attractions and does not look only towards historic and cultural attractions such as classic museums. The list of attractions includes things to do with the family, places to go for history buffs and others for people with specific interests. The beauty of this list is also that the attractions are spread all around the island and therefore one can get to experience different localities whilst visiting a quality attraction.
There are a number of places to visit in Valletta which are quality assured, their locations are spread around the city so whilst walking from one to the other, one can enjoy the hustle and bustle of the capital or stop for a coffee along the way and take in the atmosphere and beauty of the city. Mdina the old capital city and its suburb, Rabat, are also host to a number of attractions spread out in different corners, allowing the visitor to stroll through the beautiful environs these places have to offer. Other attractions can be found in different villages in Malta such as in picturesque Siggiewi a typical Maltese rural village. No visit to Malta would be complete without a stopover in Gozo which also has quality assured attractions.
There are currently 22 certified attractions in Malta and the MTA is in a constant bid to add other places to visit to the list. The current list includes attractions such as Popeye’s Village, Playmobil Funpark, the Malta National Aquarium and Malta Fun Trains which are more family oriented, though they are also attractions which can appeal to adults. For the more culturally and historically inclined there are places to visit such as Casa Bernard, Palazzo Falson Historic House Museum, Casa Rocca Piccola, the Wignacourt Museum, the Knights of Malta, the Malta at War Museum, Fort Rinella and the Saluting Battery. For those looking for a quick introduction to Maltese history there are also audiovisual shows in various languages available to choose from, such as the Malta Experience, Valletta Living History, the Mdina Experience, Malta 5D and the Gozo 360. The list of things to do in Malta also includes attractions for those with specific interests such as the Malta Aviation Museum, the Malta Classic Car Museum and for the gourmet, the Magro Food Village. For the more adventurous Fly Time Events offers the opportunity to tour the isles off shore and to experience parasailing, seeing the beauty of the Maltese Islands from the air.