Malta is still one of the most popular destinations for British tourists. Just two weeks ago wandering around the capital, Valetta, you could almost hear more English accents than Maltese ones although this is the quiet season.
Now it is about to launch a new campaign to persuade us to book our holidays there this year. But instead of the glitzy advertising campaigns that are used to seeing this is a more thoughtful promotion and one that trades on the history of Malta. Called “Creating the Malta Story” (similar in name to the old film “The Malta Story” that told the story of how Malta stood out against the threat of invasion by the Nazis during the war), this promotion has been months in the making. It tells the story of Malta going back 7.000 years.
It’s more than just an urging to tourists. It also is trying to attract investment to the country.
Can any promotion combine the two? Will the same things that appeal to a tourist appeal to an investor? From the standpoint of the tourist, Malta offers sunshine, a stable country, history, a British connection, frequent local festivities a geography small enough to easily cover and a Mediterranean climate. For the investor the same may not appeal. The company charged with promoting Malta to us offers us marketing speak that may mean something to them but which tells the tourist very little. They say that Malta has “a unique combination of assets that can and should be harnessed to create emotional connections in the minds of both investors and tourists alike.” Hopefully their advertising will use words we can understand and that say something more persuasive.
You will probably hear a great deal more about Malta in time for the 2011 season. ABTA is holding its annual meeting there so all those travel agents that go and are enthused will return to fill their shopfront windows.