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Malta Tourism

Tourism minister Edmund Bartlett says that Jamaica has benefited greatly from a recent meeting he had with president of Malta, Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca.The minister, who left the island last week for the meeting, said that both countries have...

Tourism in Malta is an important sector of the country's economy, contributing about 15 per cent of the nation's gross domestic product (GDP). It is overseen by the Malta Tourism Authority, which in turn falls under the responsibility of the Parliamentary Secretariat for Tourism, the Environment and Culture. Malta features a number of tourism attractions encompassing elements of the island's rich history and culture, as well as aquatic activities associated with the Mediterranean Sea. In addition, medical tourism has become popular in Malta in recent years, especially since government efforts to market the practice to medical tourists in the United Kingdom. The number of people who visited Malta in 2009 dropped considerably compared to the figures for 2008 - overall, the country's tourism industry suffered an 8 per cent drop from 2008. Visits from non-European Union countries dropped more considerably than visits from European Union countries (and even more so than visits from Eurozone countries), while the average stay length remained the same for both 2008 and 2009. Visitors from most countries require a visa to visit Malta. The nationalities requiring a visa are standardised as per European Union rules. Visitors already holding a valid Schengen Area visa most likely will not need to complete any more formalities to enter Malta (so long as they are already inside the Schengen Area). Visitors holding citizenship of the European Union do not require a visa to enter Malta as they hold the right to free movement within the European Union. In recent years, the country's tourism industry has been faced with a number of issues relating to the nation's small size, both in terms of area and population. These issues include stretched resources and infrastructure (such as water, waste management, beaches and roads), especially during the summer months of July and August.

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