|Valletta, Malta's capital city © Wikipedia|
|St. Paul's Cathedral, Mdina © Wikipedia|
|Blue Lagoon Bay, Comino © Wikipedia|
I'm excited to see if Malta can boost its tourism numbers, especially from the U.S. market. In 2013, the country attracted 19,052 Americans, up 8.2% from the previous year, so that's definitely an improvement. I think the biggest things to overcome are the lack of knowledge about the islands and the low number of direct flights. Educating travel agents is huge, since they play a big role in promoting destinations to travelers looking for something off the beaten path. They can also tout Malta cultural riches, which many Americans, I think, would be very interested to hear about. If the island can work with other European destinations and airlines, they should be able to offer more flights in and out of the country. But it would also be great to do some active marketing in regions where Malta gets most of its visitors, because return business is also important, and word of mouth is extremely powerful.
Malta is still a big mystery to me, even with my few hours of research. I believe a much more in depth look at the country is in order, and so I will be adding it to my wanderlust list of destinations.