With visitor numbers static in recent years and facing new competiton from former Eastern Bloc countries offering cheap holidays, the recent announcement by the Maltese government that negotiations were at an advanced stage with two low cost airlines has sparked hopes that the island will see a rise in visitor numbers, much to the relief of some in the tourist industry worried about the future of Malta as a holiday destination.
Even before the new carriers to the island land the existing airlines have been offering return flights at prices seemingly much lower than in the past to try and hold on to their share of the market.
According to on-line travel guide YourMalta.com the airline negotiations have been tempered with the need for the islands government to see that the national carrier, Air Malta, isnt damaged as it is one of Maltas major employers.
Traditionally the UK has been Maltas biggest market for incoming tourists, often making up over half of the islands visitors in any given year, but some on the island see even this market as under threat. And property buyers from the UK have accounted for seventy per cent of Malta property sales to overseas...