Malta Cruises For 2010 Vacations
While many parts of the travel industry are struggling, Malta has produced a sizzling set of figures from her cruise ship arrivals.
In fact a new record, and for the first time breaking through the 500,000 cruise ship passenger arrivals figure.
And the tourist numbers are so encouraging that the Malta authorities are to launch a new marketing campaign to encourage even further the cruise
industry to use the Mediterranean island.
At the moment Malta is one of the top Mediterranean cruise stopovers, with most passengers spending a day or half day in Malta, and because of the
lack of time only seeing the capital Valletta or the historical city of Mdina on an organised tour, and missing ninety per cent of what Malta has to offer
But now Malta wants to go a step further, and instead of being just another - albeit an historic and important stopover - she wants to be the most likely
island in the Mediterranean where cruisegoers would start their trip.
And what would be the benefits?
For a start cruise passengers would be flying to Malta instead of another start point, quite possibly using a Malta airline, and often staying in an island
hotel for the night before boarding ship.
Malta estimates that the cruise ship industry brings some 40 million Euros into the Malta economy each year, and for an island with a population of
300,000 it's an important contribution to the Malta economy.
The number of jobs in the Malta docks is significant, and the success of attracting cruise line passengers is a very welcome success for the dockers
given the current economic uncertainty.
Overall the Malta holidays industry took quite a hit in 2009 with mainland Europe and the United Kingdom being in recession, and less people taking
holidays abroad, and despite low cost flights to Malta visitor numbers dropped by 8 per cent last year - but with Malta hoping to boost visitor numbers
via the cruise ships the island could do better than other island holiday destinations.
If cruise passengers do opt t