Enhancing Maltas conference
and incentive offer through people
The Malta Tourism Authority believes Maltas conference
and incentive tourism market holds great potential, but that the sectors
professional training must go hand in hand with the heavy investment
that has been made in the market segment
It is estimated that 61,000 delegates visited Malta in
the year 2000, while 57,500 delegates came to Malta in 2001. The profile
of this market is different from other segments, and therefore so are
the demands on the product and service offered in Malta.
The Conference and Incentive (CIT) market is an important niche for
the Maltese islands with four per cent of total tourist arrivals being
conference and incentive delegates. Significantly these spend approximately
three times as much as an average tourist, and this explains why this
segment is central to the achievement of MTAs strategic plan objectives
to increase both volume and earnings in the shoulder months.
Malta has a high potential as a CIT hosting destination since it has
an offer which combines meetings with cultural locations, sporting events,
outdoor activities, as well as other recreational pursuits. These factors
combined rank highly in the list of benefits which encourage CIT organisers
to chose Malta over other competing destinations, for their events.
Since 1995, there has been heavy investment in hotel infrastructure,
venues as well as meeting facilities, and Malta has managed to attract
prestigious hotel franchises with an international reputation for superior
quality standards. In addition, five-star and four-star hotels boast
in-house state of the art meeting facilities. The fact that most of
these facilities are concentrated in one area, within walking distance
of each other, has greatly improved Maltas potential for attracting
The local CIT scenario is characterised by a large number of Destination
Management Companies (DMCs), many of which operate as small or medium
sized enterprises, but which are at the same time capable of handling
large events. Given the small nature of most local DMCs, together with
the fact that some of them also handle tour operating business, employees
at times perform multiple duties beyond those related to CIT. Nonetheless
the service given to the delegates is of optimum quality.
The abilities and skills of the local industry is reflected by the fact
that in recent years these have seen a number of major international
corporations organising conferences and incentive meetings in Malta.
The prospects for Malta in this segment are encouraging. However, we
need to ensure the consistent delivery of the product promised, while
ensuring that CIT delegate expectations are not only met but exceeded.
Over the past years, the Malta Tourism Authority has invested heavily
in marketing Malta as the ideal destination for conference and incentive
travel, and has strengthened its CIT Division to focus and co-ordinate
the Authoritys CIT marketing efforts. "Moreover, this year
the MTA has set up a strategic working group to develop a long term
action plan based on various issues raised during the intensive survey
undertaken with the Destination Management Companies (DMCs) in 2002,"
said MTA CIT Division Manager Suzanne Cassar Dimech.
The importance of professional training within this sector was highlighted
following a survey and report on The CIT Market in Malta
carried out by the MTA. The Authority recognises the importance of a
service culture to complement the tourism product, as this increases
value to the delegates stay and is critical to Maltas distinct
Training in this sector is particularly important to better equip local
tourism providers and related services with the skills and abilities
necessary to meet the discerning needs of this market. Among the initiatives
undertaken to address the issues raised by key players in this sector,
a training seminar, entitled Managing the MICE (Meetings and Incentive
and Conference and Events) Business Successfully is being organised
on 6 and 7 November by the MTAs Human Resources & Support
Services together with the CIT Division.
"The seminar is aimed at enhancing the skills of key personnel
operating in the CIT business to adopt an appropriate strategy to maintain
and develop existing clients," explained Mr Joe Tanti, MTA Manager
within the MTAs Human Resources and Support Services Directorate.
For more information about this seminar, please contact CIT Senior Executive
Angela Said on tel. no: 22915205 or email: email@example.com