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Upper Barracca Gardens - Valletta

Emerging & Developing Segments

Strategy 4.
To explore the interrelationships emerging from the existence of other services sectors within the Maltese economy such as Health, Culture including Arts and Entertainment, Sport, Education, Financial Services, Film and Gaming to explore tourism potential opportunities arising from such interrelationships.


Tourism activity constitutes one of Malta’s original services sectors which emerged from an economy traditionally tied to a mix of military-related activities and primary industries such as manufacturing and agriculture.

For a number of decades, tourism served as a mostly stand-alone type of economic service activity until the widening of the Maltese economic services sector led to its sharing the platform with a number of other service type economic activities.

More recently, tourism has increasingly shared the service sector platform with a host of other types of economic activity. Whilst it may be argued that such a situation may have led to a dilution of tourism’s importance within the Maltese economic context, the fact remains that the clustering of tourism with other types of service economy activities creates synergizing opportunities which did not exist in terms of scope and variety only a few years ago.

The opportunities arising from these additional services sectors are due to the overlap created when juxtaposing such activities on each other. Thus, instead of operating in a mutually exclusive manner from each other, such activities create additional value added when they coincide, super-impose and inter-relate with each other.

This Strategy focuses on the exploration and exploitation of the tourism opportunities arising from such inter-relationships so as to further broaden Malta and Gozo’s tourism appeal through the harnessing of opportunities existing within the domestic economic framework.

Such complementary activities embrace sectors as diverse as Health, Culture, Sports including Individual Sports, Education, Aviation, Financial Services, the Film Industry and Gaming amongst others.

Each of these sectors presents a wide range of opportunities which can be explored and developed from the tourism perspective to deliver increased tourism flows respecting the overall objective of this Strategy.


To open discussions with the different stakeholders in the identified services sectors with a view to identifying tourism opportunities arising from their presence in Malta and to devise sector specific plans for the attraction of desired types of Tourism streams from such sectors. To continue understanding the evolutionary dynamics of these different sectors so as to ensure an updated understanding of them and of the opportunities that they present to tourism activity on Malta and Gozo.

Goals and Actions

Undertake a stock-take of the current tourism impacts of each of the identified inter-related services sectors namely Health and Wellness, Culture including Arts and Entertainment, Education, Financial services, Sports, Gaming, Aviation and Film Industry amongst others.




Action 1.  Investigate each of the identified services sectors and their tourism impacts through consultation with stakeholders and tourism industry players.

Action 2.  Investigate each of the identified sectors’ tourism potential within the widest possible framework (eg the wider
potential of culture in terms of enhancing and regenerating urban infrastructure and integrating tourism within the localized cultural and social fabrics.


Adapting the experiences of destinations similar to Malta which have successfully maximized such inter-relationships.



Action 1.  Investigate best practices emerging from destinations similar to the Maltese Islands.

Action 2.  Select and adapt such best practices to the local scenario.


Discussing Goal 1 and 2 findings with relevant stakeholders.



Action 1.  Merge the findings of Goals 1 and 2 into sector-specific proposals.

Action 2.  Present each proposal for discussion with the relevant stakeholder groups.


Devise sector specific strategies in conjunction with each set of stakeholders.  



Action 1.  Finalize sector plans for each of the identified areas.

Strategy 5.
To build on the recognition of the importance of the Domestic Market during the COVID-19 crisis by actively continuing to tap into it and treat it as a relevant tourism stream.



Domestic tourism in Malta has traditionally been downplayed in terms of importance. This took place for a number of reasons, foremost amongst which there is the small size of the country encouraging the assumption that, apart from domestic overnights on the island of Gozo, there is very little scope and purpose for Maltese residents to holiday within their own national boundaries. Until recently, the ratio of domestic tourism to incoming tourism was so minute so as to be given very scant importance be it from the marketing, promotional, planning, product development or measurement perspectives.

In more recent years, the travel behaviour of Maltese residents has changed extensively in line with international trends which have seen travel become a more frequent phenomenon practiced by a wider spectrum of the population. Such enhanced travel propensities have impacted not only outbound travel by local residents but also domestic travel which has featured very different consumption patterns from the traditional peak season or long weekend restricted self-catering visits to Gozo of the past.

The global disruption of tourism resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic during 2020 and 2021 has placed a spotlight on the relevance of domestic tourism both as a replacement for the absent flows of incoming visitors and also as an alternative for a domestic population accustomed to frequent annual episodes of foreign travel which suddenly became prohibitively difficult. As a result, its appreciation and understanding as a distinct component of mainstream tourism demand cannot be ignored any longer.


Domestic tourism has now become a year-round phenomenon, utilising all types of accommodation including collective and on both mainland Malta and on Gozo. It is not a peripheral, fringe activity any longer but takes place in parallel with incoming tourism. Maltese residents travel domestically for short breaks, events, partying, pampering and relaxation, gastronomy, special occasions and even in response to special offers or discounts occasionally offered by suppliers. COVID-19 has helped cement domestic tourism’s permanent integration into the Maltese tourism industry fabric.

These developments make it relevant to start including domestic tourism in all plans relative to tourism in the Maltese Islands. Domestic tourism needs to be factored into plans, studies, scenarios, forecasts and actions. It needs to be measured more holistically and in a more timely manner from the statistical perspective to provide a set of dependable and timely quantitative and qualitative datasets for use by planers, operators and business practitioners.


To give Domestic Tourism due recognition as a valid and relevant tourism stream by integrating it fully in all Plans, Initiatives, Decisions and Promotional Actions undertaken by the Authorities and to emulate international best practice for its proper definition and measurement for seamless integration with published incoming tourism statistics.

Goals and Actions

Take stock of the full set of parameters defining domestic tourism.



Action 1.  Identify the current lacunae in measuring domestic tourism in a holistic manner.

Action 2.  Devise a methodology for the proper, holistic measurement of domestic tourism.


Investigating impacts of domestic tourism flows differentiated by season and destination on the local tourism industry.



Action 1.  Use the data emerging from Goal 1 to adequately profile the domestic tourism stream and investigate its proclivities and sectoral impacts.

Action 2.  Match the Maltese domestic tourism profile with that of similarly sized jurisdictions.


Discuss the holistic picture of domestic tourism and its impacts with stakeholders with a view to devising methods on how to incentivise domestic travellers, ensure that tourism service providers follow up on the advances made during the COVID-19 pandemic and integrate the domestic market as a permanent part of their client mix.



Action 1.  Identify the set of stakeholders relevant to the development and attraction of domestic tourism.

Action 2.  Discuss and identify ways on how to further develop domestic tourism within the Maltese Islands by incentivising 
residents with the proper products, offers and experiences. 

Action 3.  Use the knowledge and gains made from the COVID-19 pandemic to further grow domestic tourism as apermanent component of the overall tourism influx.


Collaborate with local councils to create specific events/themes to attract a healthy stream of domestic tourism throughout the year.



Action 1.  Discuss the USPs for each locality covered by a Local Council.

Action 2.  Create and compile a national calendar of locality-based events and activities aimed at attracting domestic 
tourism by avoiding thematic duplication and date overlaps.

Action 3.  To assist in the marketing and promotion of the identified and selected events and activities.

Strategy 6.
To further tap into the Cruise Market to increase its economic value through a higher ratio of home porting to port-of-call business.



The Cruise market is complimentary to tourism in that while the visitors arriving at a destination on a cruise ship are not essentially tourists by definition, but rather, day trippers or excursionists, their movements, behaviour and attraction feature a huge level of overlap with mainstream tourism so much so that no Tourism Strategy can be complete without recognising their relevance and importance. Furthermore, there exist widespread interlinkages between the tourism and cruise sectors which present opportunities to be availed of by the tourism industry.

Fundamentally, cruise ships bring hundreds of thousands of first-time visitors into the destination, most of whom are on a first-time visit. This exposes such first timers to a brief preview of the destination’s offer and can prove instrumental in motivating such visitors to return for a longer visit as bone fide tourists. The marketing potential presented by such visitors is enormous given the high rate of possible convincing to revisit coupled with Malta’s high levels of customer rating reported by various international cruise industry surveys over the years.

Cruise passengers have the potential to be converted into tourists in a number of other ways too. Passengers on vessels overnighting in the destination automatically become tourists by international definition while vessels home-porting in Malta for which passengers are flown in and out of the destination to start and end their cruise from the country create possibilities for cruise and stay options which are yet to be fully maximised by Malta.

Home porting also strengthens the sustainability of Malta’s airline connectivity network by providing an additional passenger stream to boost aircraft utilisation and therefore actively contributes towards strengthening Malta’s air links with its tourism source markets.

Besides the obvious attraction of Malta’s Grand Harbour as a major Mediterranean port of call and home port, the island of Gozo has, from time to time, also managed to attract a range of different sized vessels as an alternative to Grand Harbour. Gozo’s potential as a stand-alone cruise ship destination still needs to be fully realised based on adequate studies relating to the best market segments it should focus on attracting, the infrastructural requirements necessitated by the attraction of such segments and the inter-relationships with other sources of tourism and excursionists which the attraction of volumes of cruise passengers brings with it.

Malta also needs to capitalise on the investments made in providing cleaner shore to ship energy facilities which shall drastically reduce emissions by visiting ships which will no longer need to keep their engines running continually during their stay and to continue presenting itself as a sustainable cruising destination by ensuring that it attracts vessels sporting the latest clean technologies. 


The Cruise Market will continue to evolve in line with the direction of this Strategy by embracing principles based on sustainability, maximised returns and innovative segmentation aimed at integrating
its development in a more holistic manner with the rest of the tourism industry. Increased home porting
opportunities are to be sought, different types of cruise operators are to be assessed for attraction to
Malta and Gozo, and the country’s potential emerging from the combination of location, connectivity and facilities needs to be further exploited to increase the scope of cruise operations and their contribution to the Maltese Economy.

To manage the growth and further evolution of the cruise industry in line with developing international trends to ensure that Malta remains at the forefront.



Action 1.  Follow cruise market developments through contacts with relevant industry fora and discussions with operators, their local representatives as well as port facilities.

Action 2.  Set performance and operational targets aimed at maintaining Malta’s position within the Mediterranean 
cruise industry.



To analyse and thoroughly understand the segmentation of the cruise industry, understand each segment’s specific needs and requirements and select those potential segments best matched with each other. Particular emphasis to be placed on the luxury cruise sector.



Action 1.  Identify and study the different types and categories of the components comprising the cruise industry.

Action 2.  Discuss with stakeholders how to attract the selected and identified cruise segments.

Action 3.  Devise a medium to long term plan for the attraction of these segments based on their product requirements
and operations.


Investigate improved ways of converting cruise passengers visiting Malta and Gozo into eventual tourists.



Action 1.  Discuss the formulation of ways of enticing visiting cruise passengers to revisit Malta and Gozo as eventual tourists with cruise companies, their local agents and port operations.

Action 2.  Implement and measure the success of the selected methodologies.


Publicise Malta’s USPs as a sustainable destination to cruise operators to attract them to make increasing use of the destination.



Action 1.  Engage in stakeholder meetings and discussions to identify Malta’s USPs for the cruise sector.

Action 2.  Address those areas which can be further developed to become additional USPs.

Action 3.  Create a marketing plan for the industry based on findings of Actions 1 and 2.



Identify new opportunities to maximise returns from cruise passenger activity.



Action 1.  Study other Mediterranean ports’ modus operandi on maximising the economic benefits of cruise market activity.

Action 2.  Discuss the feasibility and applicability of such findings to the Maltese reality.

Action 3.  Devise an action plan and KPIs for the introduction and monitoring of identified opportunities.

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