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Malta Goes Dotto For 2008 Tourists

Nov 15, 2007
Malta has a reputation for good sunshine holidays in the Mediterranean - and a fleet of 1950's Leyland buses that have become a recognisable part of life for the island's visitors.

But now the island is investing in a safe and visitor friendly mode of transport for the 2008 tourists - dotto trains.

The trains are already an established feature in many European holiday destinations, but Malta takes her time, and comes nearly twenty years after the idea was first suggested.

The dottos are anticipated to be up and running for New Year's day, and will be operating in the popular areas of St Paul's Bay, Bugibba and Qawra, all in the north of the island, and if successful will be also included in the south in areas like Marsascala.

The delay in introducing dotto trains to Malta is typical of the island and the attitude towards tourism - it seems to take years for an obvious idea to be implemented, and then it's embraced wholeheartedly - with everyone wondering why they didn't do it years ago. Another example is the introduction of low cost flights to Malta.

With a downward spiral in visitor numbers, the Maltese government finally relented to pressure from the Malta holidays industry and allowed low cost carriers to fly to the island for the first time last year.

Competition was keen between the airlines to take up the lucrative UK to Malta route, and Dublin based Ryanair was chosen over rivals easyJet to take up the route, and the island has benefitted this year with a sharp increase in tourists, reversing six years of decline.

Since then the island's tourist authorities have finally waken up to the fact that competition in the skies could bring more benefits to the country than protecting her national airline, and new routes have opened between Malta with Germany, Spain and Scandanavia.

New official figures show that this year's all important summer season has been the best in six years for Malta, reversing the decline in fortunes for the Mediterranean island.

The good news for Malta is that despite the increase in the number of tourists arriving on the island via low cost flights, the occupancy levels of hotels has increased from basic to 5 star, showing that Malta can appeal to all.

Further good news for Malta came from the figures for hotels and holidays with the news that while the number of arrivals from her traditional UK market rose by eleven per cent, the number of people from Germany visiting Malta increased by a third this year, adding strength to the holidays industry that has been reliant on tourism from one country in the past.

Both Germany and the UK have seen new low cost flight operators sucessfully applying to fly to Malta, and the increase in tourism can largely be put down to them.

2007 has been a turning year for Malta, with previously poor publicity turning to good press reports in the media overseas.

The dotto trains may be coming late to Malta, but as the low cost flights have shown, once they are up and running the island will be pleased to have them!
About the Author
YourMalta.com provides a profile of Malta, and for visitors holiday in Malta information including a photograph gallery.

Other details include a Malta weather forecast and a weather forecast Milan , airline information and Malta hotels
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