Latest news and Blog Posts from 20Twenty

Latest news and Blog Posts from 20Twenty

Covering anything and everything we do in Malta -
From hosting truly great clients and organisations, to weddings, leisure, sun, sea and fun!

Valletta to be Europe’s 2018 Capital of Culture

Photo: Notte Bianca, Strait Street, Valletta

Every year, since 1985, the European Commission nominates two EU countries to host the European Capital of Culture (ECOC). This revered title represents one of the most prestigious and prominent cultural events in Europe; an event that breathes fresh life into and boosts the social and economic development of the chosen city. In 2012, the decision to award Malta’s historic capital city, Valletta, the coveted status of ‘European Capital of Culture 2018’ was unanimous!

Valletta is a living city with a vibrancy all of its own. A brimming café culture, art installations and exhibits, open squares, and a thriving market, all contribute to making this grand city much more than a living museum.


An ideal destination for your MICE

Malta may be diminutive in size but it really punches above its weight on so many levels, making it the ideal destination for your next meeting, incentive, conference or event (MICE). Voted the second-best airport in Europe and boasting the most scenic airport approaches in the world, Malta International Airport is one of the most well-connected destinations with a whole host of low-cost flights, as well as its own great airline, Air Malta and international airlines like Lufthansa, British Airways, Alitalia, Emirates and Air France. If ever a city was more suited to being a European Capital of Culture then we have yet to see it. The build-up and event itself will be spectacular!


A city-wide art exhibition

The Valletta 2018 cultural programme will comprise of many activities, including exhibitions, theatre productions, seminars, street theatre, jamming sessions, outdoor concerts, and fashion shows, along with networking meetings with local artists from the island.
As well as certain festivals being new to the 2018 programme, a number of un-used locations within Valletta are being renovated and developed, among which will be the regeneration of Strait Street, and Malta’s new national community art museum, MUZA. The first of its kind and a UNESCO world heritage site built as a city fortress, this baroque building dates back to the late 16th century and was used as the seat and residence of the Italian Knights of the Order of St. John.

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Photo: Valletta 2018 official archives


Come join the year-long celebration

Malta is already abundantly rich in sites to see and explore with historical buildings around every corner and a festival in almost every town. And with Valletta being crowned the cultural capital of Europe, 2018 will be a momentous year delivering a colourful celebration of creativity and international recognition that will appeal to locals, tourists and visitors alike.

If you are keen to put Malta on your 2018 calendar of corporate events and need some ‘insider’ guidance, 20Twenty destination experts will organize a professionally tailored program selecting one of several newly opened boutique hotels in Valletta, some unusual venues and cool restaurants, that will suit your needs and budget. 20Twenty is a close-knit group of event specialists who have been quality assured by the Malta Tourism Authority (MTA) since 2009, so rest assured, you and your company will be in the best hands!

Malta – Alive with the sounds of music!

Photo: Isle of MTV official archives

When it comes to music, Malta is a shining stage that attracts a plethora of musicians from every corner of the globe, as well as an abundance of annual music festivals; all guaranteed to strike the right chord with every muso out there. From chillout sounds and hardcore dance, to soothing jazz and head-banging rock, Malta’s musical star is a rich tapestry of eclectic euphoria. And, with its brilliant geographical positioning, it’s the perfect place for your next meeting, incentive, conference or event (MICE).

Music festivals that will strike the right chord
Malta has musical roots placed firmly in the ground. Year on year, the variety of events grow, and as such, act as a pull factor for visitors and locals alike. In fact, there are just not enough days in the year to enjoy them all!

Starting the summer season off with a bang is the Isle of MTV annual music festival, and this year marked its 10th anniversary. Set at the glorious Granaries of Floriana, we’ve seen an amazing line-up take to the MTV stage over the years; Maroon 5, Lady Gaga, OneRepublic, The Black Eyed Peas, Jessie J, Rita Ora, Snoop Dogg and most recently, The Chainsmokers.

Uniting people from all corners of the globe
Hailed as being one of the top 10 most stunning locations in the world, by the Daily Mail, it comes as no surprise that Malta has been uniting visitors through the love of music for years. Another of Malta’s longest-running events is the Malta Jazz Festival; taking place every third weekend of July, this highly acclaimed event brings local and international artists to the grand city of Valletta for three days.


Malta jazz festivalLost Found
Photos: Malta Jazz Festival and Lost & Found archives

Lost & Found has become one of Europe’s sun-drenched dance music festivals, hosted by revered British dance DJ Annie Mac, delivering castle raves and boat parties, as well as hotel venues. And, for the hardened rock and metal lovers, there’s the first edition of Rock the Rock, featuring several international headliners (including, Lucifer’s Friend and Focus; definitely a prog-rock muso’s delight!), held in Malta’s beautiful National Park, Ta’ Qali.

Music, festivals and fun in the sun…
… Make for the ultimate team-building excursions and a more exciting prospect for your corporate meetings. With a choice of low-cost airlines at the ready to bring you to this beautiful island, there is every reason to visit. 20Twenty destination experts can organize the whole land program, seamlessly and hassle-free.

Delivering uniquely tailored and local experiences is our passion. 20Twenty are here to listen, shape and deliver the ultimate soundtrack to your MICE memories!

Movie memories, made in Malta

Movie memories, made in Malta

Beautiful blue skies, crystal clear waters and al-fresco dining is, to most, what Malta is all about. While these pleasures are what many of us wish to escape to, there is so much more to enjoy on this magical island nestled in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea…

A bijou of natural beauty
For the Maltese locals, it would come as no surprise that Malta is a magnet for the movie industry. Steeped in unique charm, centuries-old character, great restaurants and boutique hotels, this little sun-drenched island offers visuals that are never short of impressive; not only rendering it a perfect meeting, incentive, conference or event (MICE) destination, but a perfect backdrop for several cinematic masterpieces.

Dubbed “the Mediterranean’s mini Hollywood” by the London Times, Malta sees some of Hollywood’s biggest film studios choose its mesmerizing panoramas as the location for their movies. The historical city of Mdina (known as the ‘silent city’) and Comino’s ancient fortress, Chateau d’if, were used when filming some scenes in the 2002 adventure, ‘The Count of Montecristo’. Brad Pitt transformed into the Greek A-list warrior and hero, Achilles, for his role in ‘Troy’ in 2004, even returning to film ‘World War Z’, followed with ‘By The Sea’ a couple of years later.

Lights. Camera. Action.
Malta has been a popular filming location since the 1920s, having successfully adopted the guise of everything from Ancient Rome to the South of France. The golden-hued walls of Fort Ricasoli – just across the Grand Harbour from Valletta and dating back to the 17th century -  served as a venerable backdrop for Russell Crowe’s centurion in Ridley Scott’s ‘Gladiator’. The Fort later became the landscape for the world-renowned television series ‘Game of Thrones’.

Tom Hanks made a couple of blockbusters here, too. The ‘Da Vinci Code’ used Malta as the destination for its Knights Templar flashbacks, while the academy award-nominated ‘Captain Phillips’ was shot in Valletta’s majestic Grand Harbour. And, just last year, Malta played 15th century Spain serving as the backdrop to the battleground when filming the video game adaptation ‘Assassin’s Creed’. With its riveting good looks and talent on camera, it’s no wonder that Malta is a film director’s dream location, and an ideal destination for corporate incentives and team-building activities.

2018 Capital of Culture
Valletta, one of the most historic capital cities in Europe and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, will be holding the esteemed title of European Capital of Culture in 2018. Malta is a cultural heritage of baroque beauty brimming with charming cafes, a thriving music scene, local festivals, booming nightlife; the list goes on… that can be reached from main European airports in no time.

vlt

Small in size. Big in history.
Despite its diminutive size, measuring a mere 316 square kilometers, the Maltese archipelago is alive with significant sites, idyllic spots, and one of the largest cultural displays in the world. From fossil-studded geo formations and prehistoric temples, to a plethora of rugged coastlines and stunning bays, Malta is a richly woven history of unrivalled wonder, like nowhere else. One minute you can be exploring the ancient city of Valletta, and the next you can be deep-sea diving off the beautiful blue seas around Gozo; Malta’s little sister, considered to be one of three top diving spots.

An event to remember
Whether you’re looking for an action-packed adventure across land and sea, an exclusive excursion filled with centuries-old archeological interest or something a little more relaxing, to add to your program, 20Twenty destination experts can organize it.

Quality assured since 2009 by the Malta Tourism Authority (MTA), 20Twenty sprinkle MICE programs with “magic moments” that delegates will remember in years to come. Malta is a living and breathing film set just waiting for you to shout ‘Action’!

20Twenty in Creative Mode: A Seabourn UNESCO Initiative

20Twenty in Creative Mode: A Seabourn UNESCO Initiative

Seabourn Cruise Line recently partnered with UNESCO to promote sustainable tourism at World Heritage sites.

20Twenty were entrusted to enhance those Seabourn tours that were being offered and create new ones to allow guests to immerse themselves in Malta’s unique UNESCO sites. Using our experience in bespoke destination management we discussed the concept with the Maltese National Commission for UNESCO who gave their wholehearted endorsement following which, a meeting was held with the curators of the National Archaeological Museum in Valletta, Ħ aġar Qim and Mnajdra Temples to the South of Malta and the Ġgantija Temples in Gozo.

 

Tours were redesigned to offer a morning visit to Ħaġar Qim temples with a special welcome upon arrival by the curator herself. Then they will have a tour of the visitor’s centre and the site together with their guide. After, guests will drive to Valletta and visit the Museum of Archeology. The curator at the Museum will arrange an exclusive exhibition which will consist of the mysterious ‘elongated’ skulls which are not usually on display and the unique statue of the Goddess of Fertility and give them an explanation of these exhibits. Then guests will have time to visit the museum and Valletta, soon to be crowned “2018 European Capital of Culture”.

In conjunction with the board of management of St. John’s Co-Cathedral, in Valletta, another UNESCO site, an evening event is also being planned which will include a sacred music recital followed by a private viewing of the world famous Caravaggio “The Beheading of St. John” in the Oratory.

Ivan Mifsud, Managing Director of MBL 20Twenty exclaims; "I am personally very excited about this UNESCO project because Seabourn Cruise Line is keen to make both Valletta (Malta) and Mġarr (Gozo) its showcase UNESCO ports giving the Maltese islands a unique edge over other Mediterranean destinations and also increasing awareness about our islands’ awesome archaeology and history".

UNESCO's General Director, Irina Bokova discusses the unique nature of UNESCO’s partnership with Seabourn in a video here

Why Handmade Souvenirs Matter

Why Handmade Souvenirs Matter

We live in a world where many souvenirs are mass produced. Not that there is anything necessarily wrong with that. Humankind have certainly come a long way to develop technologies in making our lives easier by speeding up production that require massive quantities. This is all to fulfill bulk demand. But it’s also wonderful that more travellers everywhere are beginning to embrace things that are made by hand in small quantities. In case you hadn’t heard, here is why handicrafts matter.

1. Handmade is the new Maltese manufacturing

Shortly after the Industrial Revolution, Malta began to import mass produced souvenirs. Yes that’s right, a souvenir that is imported from overseas! Many of which will have “Malta” inscribed on them. How ironic is that? And this was not only the case for Malta I’m afraid, but for many other worldwide destinations with China being the main producer. It’s sad on one hand.

On the other hand, such phenomenon has created demand for authentic local crafted products. Malta has responded quite rapidly to that demand. The Maltese took the opportunity to give them a voice in tourism. To buy a handicraft product is to affirm and give continuous life to that human voice. When done throughout a community, multiple times over, an entire city can find new life. Case in point is Ta’ Qali Crafts Village where it has established itself as an attraction on its own.

As a matter of fact, this handicraft rave is now even more seen happening all across the Maltese Islands today and it’s making our nation a better place, one community at a time.

2. A handmade item cannot be duplicated


No two handmade items are exactly alike. Variations in colour, shading, texture, shape and grain are inherent in a handmade item. No two items are alike, so that every single one is one-of-a-kind. This means that every handmade item you purchase is also one-of-a-kind. What’s not to like about that?

3. It’s human nature to value the creative spirit


“Art and love are the same thing: It’s the process of seeing yourself in things that are not you.” What a wonderful quote by Chuck Klosterman. When craftsmen create the handcrafted souvenir, the makers leave a part of their individual self in it. Next time you pass craftsmen, stop and observe them finish their artwork. Upon completion, the craftsmen take pride in the work partly because they see themselves and their effort put through it. Whether it’s the shape, colour, texture or just the mood the creator happened to be in, one experiences the creative spirit of the craftsman who created it. Such spirit is treasured and valued far beyond an item that was made for worldly mass consumption.

4. Handmade items are crafted in an environment of joy, honour and respect


Have you ever studied the work space of a person who creates for a living? Their creations are almost always made in a space of joy, honour, and respect. Those same values somehow find their way into the very fibre of a handmade souvenir. For example, consider that every inch of thread that forms part of the Maltese lace once flowed through the fingers of a Maltese woman on her doorstep, engrossed in this beautiful tradition whilst knitting the garment with intention and purpose.

The origins of the Maltese lace goes back to the Knights of Malta period who introduced such lace as a clothing accessory to embellish fashionware of nobility and ecclesiastical vestments. Who wouldn’t take extra special care of such an item that has been long appreciated in history?

5. Everything is more beautiful when it’s made with a heart

You would like to give a gift to someone dear to you. You can give him or her a mass produced necklace or else you can opt for one with filigree a Maltese grandmother made. The mass produced one will do the job of surprise, but only the one a grandmother made will touch the very heart of the receiver. You will be asked about the technique, how long it took for the filigree to be made and where in the world it was created.

This is why handmade matters.

Events to Get Excited About in 2017

Events to Get Excited About in 2017

As the sun rises on a new year, it's time to look ahead. What do the Maltese Islands have in store? The Maltese don’t really take a break from festivities. Malta and Gozo are small islands but mighty, jam packed with events. As matter of fact, the events that take place in the Maltese Islands are created by the Maltese, for the Maltese and foreigners alike.

A notable highlight of 2017 is that Malta will take the presidency of the Council of the EU. Themed reEUnion, the cultural program of events encourages the participation of citizens as well as tourists alike to celebrate local cultural diversity. In such way everyone is provided the opportunity to express personal takes on possible future realities for Malta, Europe and the EU. The Maltese EU Presidency cultural programme sheds light on different aspects of the Maltese heritage including not only historical but also social and anthropological. One of these is Malta – Land of Sea, an exhibition curated by Sandro Debono at the BOZAR Centre for Fine Arts. Such visual arts reinterpret our linear view of chronology and how Malta’s interaction with so many different conquerors have shaped its culture and present reality.

See the official cultural programme of the 2017 Maltese Presidency of the Council of the EU here

Once again in 2017, the Maltese Islands continue to be an all year round holiday destination, with annual festivals, traditional feasts and dozens of re-enactments and pageants presented in surroundings of historical and architectural beauty.

Paul Bugeja, CEO from Malta Tourism Authority expands on this; “Throughout the year, no less than 50 events include Maltese food and wine as their main attraction are organised in various towns and villages. One may also count some 120 musical events of all genres that are staged either indoors, in theatres, or else in outdoor venues”. And these are just a few examples.

Top 10 events in 2017

1.   Valletta International Baroque Festival (12th - 28th January)
2.   Gaulitana: A Festival of Music (25th February – 2nd March)
3.   Malta International Fireworks Festival (22nd & 30th April)
4.   Valletta Film Festival (16th – 25th June)
5.   Malta Fashion Week (21st – 27th May)
6.   Malta International Arts Festival (23rd June – 15th July)
7.   Malta International Jazz Festival (20th- 22nd July)
8.   Joseph Calleja & Andrea Bocelli in Concert (19th August)
9.   Birgu by Candlelight (13th -15th October)
10. Rolex Middle Sea Race (21st October)

Since distances in Malta are short, it is also possible for one to enjoy as many as three different events on any given day. Isn’t that fabulous?

The locals work very hard throughout the year to organise and celebrate such events. The Malta Tourism Authority has officially launched its calendar of events. Get a glimpse of what to expect here

So let’s all raise our glass and give a warm toast to another colourful eventful year ahead!

The Ultimate Yacht Racing Week in Malta

The Ultimate Yacht Racing Week in Malta

RC44 Valletta Cup & Yacht Racing Forum 2016

Malta has established itself as a key yacht racing destination on the international yachting map along with its reputation and lengthy nautical tradition. We are anticipating an eventful week kicking off with the RC44 Valletta Cup the 23rd – 27th November following the Yacht Racing Forum right after on the 28th -29th November. 

Embraced by the world’s most talented sailors and yachting enthusiasts alike, the 2016 RC44 Championship final is looking as intensive as ever. The RC44 Valletta Cup, hosted in Malta for the first time in March 2015, has returned this autumn with a bang. RC44 in itself is a one-design sailing class, a 44 foot long sleek racing vessel with a 121kg mast shooting sails 69foot high up in the sky. The design of the RC44 sailing boat was a three year intensive process, formulated by naval architect Andrej Justin and the five-time America’s Cup winner Russell Coutts. Its stunning design surely brings out the geek in every sailor. 

The class is fantastic, there’s just no comparison. The tour, the competition, the organisation, the boat design, everything is pushing the RC44 forward. There is uniformity and it makes it a joy to be part of for all entrants the yachting fandom.
The Maltese islands deliver challenging yet exciting conditions for the sailors, thus making the competition within the class an all-time high. Hubert Detrey, the RC44 Class Hospitality Manager, praised Malta for this: “Malta is considered to be the wind factory of the Mediterranean and with the warm climate the owners enjoy the fast pace racing Malta offers. The hospitality in Malta has been incomparable both from the local organising authority as well as all the stakeholders involved – all have made our teams and support crews very welcome”.

The RC44 Valletta Cup kicks off in Malta’s Grand Harbour on the 23rd November with a day of match racing in a tournament format. This year’s Valletta tournament will be an extra nail biting end to the final as the winner will be awarded the RC44 Championship Tour champion.

Watch the RC44 Championship Tour Promo on Youtube by clicking here

Members of the yacht racing community from all over the world are invited to save the date and join the Yacht Racing Forum 2016, on November 28-29 in Malta. Co-hosted by Yachting Malta and Yachting Events, the event will provide a unique opportunity to network, debate the future of the sport and make new business ties. The forum will take place right after the RC44 Valetta Cup, providing a great opportunity for participants to attend both events. The dates have also been selected in order to avoid clashes with Le Nautic Paris Boat Show.

The Yacht Racing Forum will be consisting of two conferences. Day one will focus on yacht racing marketing, design and technology. The day will end up with a gala reception that will provide a great opportunity to meet the sports' key personalities in a pleasant environment. Day two will host a plenary session and focus on risk management and safety in the morning, followed by topics of general interest for sailors, event organisers, designers and sponsors. Key international sailing stakeholders include Volvo Ocean Race, Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image, Virtual Regatta, Yacht Film and North Sails as well as international supporting environmental charities such as Sailors for the Sea.

“The main mission of the Yacht Racing Forum is to gather the sports' key personalities and organise a top quality event", says Bernard Schopfer, the owner of the Yacht Racing Forum. "The venue, in Malta, is absolutely stunning. We are determined to keep developing the Forum with a long term vision in order to provide guarantees of sustainability to our partners and exhibitors."

So grab a pair of binoculars and get your deck shoes ready. Head over to our magnificent Grand Harbour for a jam packed eventful yacht racing week!

10 Maltese beaches get Blue Flag status

10 Maltese beaches get Blue Flag status

Ten beaches in Malta have been awarded the blue flag status, one more than last year’s count.

They are St George’s Bay, Fond Ghadir Bay, Westin Dragonara Hotel and Spa Beach, Qawra Bay, Bugibbat Beach, Mellieha Bay, Golden Bay, Ghajn Tuffieha Bay, Islands Edge Beach (Paradise Bay Hotel), and Ramla il-Hamra in Gozo.

It is the first time Golden Bay has achieved the accolade, after being recognised as a Beach of Quality in 2015.
Gozo’s Hondoq Bay and Marsalforn Bay were awarded Beach of Quality status.

Beaches that achieve Blue Flag status meet high standards for water quality, safety, environmental education and information, the provision of services and general environmental management.
The St George’s Bay, Bugibbat Pearched Beach, Qawra Beach, and Mellieha Bay sites were particularly praised for their environmental education activities.

There was a word of warning for Ghajn Tuffieha, Ramla Bay and Island’s Edge beach, with the international jury that awards Blue Flags noting that their bin standards remained substandard.
The jury also stressed that Mellieha Bay, Bugibbat, Qawra, San Georges Bay and Fond Ghadira beaches should be monitored more to ensure that the proper waste separate and waste disposal is up to standard. Failing to do this would mean that they may lose their Flag during 2016, the jury warned.

In a statement, the Malta Tourism Authority welcomed the news. It thanked MTA employees working in its Product Development Directorate for their commitment to beach management and also had words of praise for the Cleansing Services Directorate, Environmental Health and the Planning Authority.

MTA CEO Paul Bugeja said that the increased number of Blue Flag beaches would ensure “that our summer product continues to be competitive”. Now the MTA had to work harder to do even better in the future, he added.

Post credit: Times of Malta

Malta hosts Sweden: A knowledge exchange

Malta hosts Sweden: A knowledge exchange

Last week, 20Twenty dmc was fortunate to host a business exchange with Emnet and Maria from The Frans Schartaus Handelsinstitut in Stockholm. The aim was to share marketing knowledge and learn more about our different countries. We didn’t know what to expect from the two-day visit as it was our first time holding such an event. Needless to say, ten minutes into our conversation changed our mind-set. It was clear that Emnet and Maria were experts in their fields who happily shared key facts about Sweden and its people.

Malte je t' aime!

Malte je t' aime!

In order to reach out to the French speaking world, 20twenty has just launched its web site into French. This was not a literal translation exercise but the virtual re-writing of the site by our in-house translator with a totally French-speaking mind set. This way, the 20twenty web site can be accessed by its clients and potential clients from France, Belgium, Switzerland, Canada and Algeria.

http://www.20twenty.com.mt/fr/ 

Malta International Airport - A €78 million investment

Malta International Airport - A €78 million investment

Malta International Airport (MIA) is set to invest €78 million after clenching higher profits in 2015 and successfully registering its 45th consecutive month of passenger growth.

Alan Borg, the CEO of Malta International Airport, in his interview with the Times of Malta, expressed his concern for detail.

“If the detail is right, everything else falls into place. Detail is what Malta needs in its every aspect to continue attracting more tourists”.

Paella, Bees, Elongated Skulls, Archaeological Museum a puzzling honey trail from Barcelona to Valletta and on to Mellieha

Paella, Bees, Elongated Skulls, Archaeological Museum a puzzling honey trail from Barcelona to Valletta and on to Mellieha

I was in Barcelona for a couple of days taking part in a filming project called “Medcruise & Princess Cruises Partnership Project” organised by Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Seabourn and P&O Australia. The goal was to offer the world’s best cruise experience and create a more meaningful, authentic, personal and exclusive guest experience in each of the destinations that these cruise ships visited. It was a challenge to highlight what first-time visitors should see and do in the limited time they have in port. I had 30 minutes, but it felt like the 30-second elevator pitch, so I made the best of it with the advantage of my deep involvement in destination management.

9 financial reasons the movie industry chooses Malta as a filming destination.

9 financial reasons the movie industry chooses Malta as a filming destination.

Malta is blessed with clear blue waters, diverse terrains, baroque architecture, a warm climate, and a friendly Mediterranean lifestyle.
So it’s no surprise why box office hits like Troy, Gladiator, Assassin’s Creed, and The Promise with Christian Bale used locations in Malta as backdrops for their scenes.

While all of the above movies took advantage of Malta’s ideal shoot spots, investors also benefited from Malta’s attractive financial incentives. The benefits consist of tax rebates drawn by the Maltese government to attract the movie industry to the Islands. These are:

The Hilton Malta Hotel refurbishment - a €15 Million Investment

Hilton Quarterdeck Terrace

The Hilton Malta Hotel in St Julians is in its second week of its ten-week €15 million refurbishment. The project involves: the upgrading of 293 rooms, new food and beverage stations, the redesign of the Quarterdeck lounge and main restaurant, an extended lobby, and the installation of new elevators. Works are being carried out 24/7 to meet the 16 April 2016 deadline.

[WATCH] Sunny Malta stages a backdrop for Sports Illustrated swimsuit shoot

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit

Kelly Rohrbach, Kate Bock, Tanya Mityushina, Robyn Lawler and the beautiful Samantha Hoopes share their views about Malta and photoshoot experiences in a sultry behind-the-scenes video.

 “When you have hair and you have to model in the wind, it can get really challenging” says Kelly Rohrbach combating the windy but sunny Maltese autumn weather. The models worked vigorously against the breezy conditions but succeeded in the colossal task of keeping their petit tops on and their flawlessly styled hair out of their eyes. 

Maltese postcard locations: Valletta, Mdina, Birgu, Marsaxlokk, World War II shelters and - of course - the Azure Window in Gozo were pinned as backdrops for the provocative photoshoot. At the Azure Window, the behind-the scenes-video features “revealing” insights into the shoot. Models reassure viewers that although they posed in: “Little quaint places, the pictures are so incredible… so much art goes into it.”

Towards the end of the video Kate Brock sums up her experience “Here we’ve had beautiful, sun (sunny?), warm weather - happy to jump in the ocean”. Three out of four correct. Sorry Kate but there is no ocean here - only our clear blue seas.

Sports illustrated Swimsuit Issue is an annual magazine, published by American Sports Illustrated. The cover features models - all women throughout history - wearing swimsuits in exotic locations.

 

Manoel Theatre – Grand setting for Events and Meetings

Justus Frantz takes over the Manoel Theatre

This month sees the end of the fourth edition of the Valletta International Baroque Festival which comprised of 25 events in nine venues around Valletta, Malta's UNESCO World Heritage-listed capital city. Kenneth Zammit Tabona, Artistic Director of the Manoel Theatre proudly stated that “The Baroque Festival this year was a literal galaxy of stars; Mahan Esfahan, Philippe Herreweghe and Jordi Savall to mention just three. Since its inception in 2013 it has leapfrogged from strength to strength attracting an international audience happy to spend a week or two in the inimitable atmosphere of Valletta, our tiny capital city”.

Feels like October

Feels like October

Conducting site inspections during the winter months is always a bit of a gamble. Although the Maltese climate is mild in winter, DMCs fear these months because of their unpredictability. When we were asked to organise a site inspection in December the first question that we asked ourselves is: why could this have been scheduled for late autumn or early spring?

Norwegian TV crew choose Malta and 20Twenty

Norwegian TV crew choose Malta and 20Twenty

A Norwegian TV production company contacted 20Twenty to organise an episode for one of the most followed program in Norway for the biggest TV station with over 500,000 views per episode.

Malta! - A bloggers visit to malta hosted by 20twenty

Malta! - A bloggers visit to malta hosted by 20twenty

Jeg har denne gangen satt fra meg sykkelen og tatt meg til Malta og Gozo. Nå er kanskje ikke Malta og Gozo like eksotisk som hverken Maldivene eller Amazonas som jeg har blogget fra tidligere. Likevel kan jeg love dere mye spennende fra denne øygruppen, som kanskje på mange måter er litt glemt.

Malta var utrolig populær for noen år siden, hvor de store charteroperatørene hadde Malta på programmet og fraktet kunder inn i hele sommerhalvåret. Dessverre har ikke Malta kommet på programmet igjen de siste årene, og derfor har Malta kanskje falt litt i «glemmeboka» som vi sier hjemme i Vestfold. Det går fortsatt et par direktefly dit med Norwegian i uken, så for deg som kanskje blir litt interessert i å reise ned hit etter blogginnleggene vi har tenkt til å dele med deg, så finnes det en flott mulighet å komme hit ned til god pris.

Min reise hit ned gikk via Frankfurt med Lufthansa, og denne ruten sørger for at du lander kl 12 og har hele dagen foran deg. Det er ingen tidsforskjell fra Norge, men det er mye varmere med fantastiske 30 grader i luften. Det å kunne reise fra kalde oktober-Oslo til varme Malta, gjør meg rett og slett glad. Det er liksom noe med det å kunne komme seg bort litt i oktober. Bare det å gå ut fra terminalbygget og bort til leiebilen er en utrolig deilig og varm opplevelse, spesielt etter en lang og regntung sommer som vi har hatt i Oslo.

Når du så ruller forsiktig med bilen ut fra flyplassen og ut på motorveien, kommer første overraskelsen; de kjører jo på venstre side? Det burde vel ha ringt en bjelle når jeg satte meg bak rattet, men da var jeg visst mest opptatt av å ha fått med all bagasjen. Jeg har selvfølgelig valgt en veldig liten bil, ettersom det skal være utrolig vanskelig å parkere her, så jeg ofret rett og slett ikke venstrekjøringen en eneste tanke. Det å kjøre på feil side er jo ikke vanskelig på parkeringen, men det blir noe helt annet som sagt, på motorveien…

Alt løste seg og etter litt tilvenning fant jeg til og med veien som tok meg videre til Blue Grotto. Å stå på klippen over Blue Grotto og se ned i det fantastiske vannet, er fantastisk. Du finner fjellformasjoner på Malta som er helt unike, og vannet er krystallklart, slik at selv høyt oppe på klippen kan du se langt ned under vannflaten. Det å da ta seg ut til grotten i små fiskebåter blir en fin opplevelse, selv om man må dele den med mange andre turister. Jeg synes alltid det er spesielt å bevege seg inn til strender og grotter vannveien. En kjenner seg litt som de gamle oppdagerne i det man seiler inn i grotten. Når også reisen dit med båt i tillegg passerer lokale fiskere som fisker og hilser fra land i utkanten av havnen, og noen tar seg en liten «power nap» mens andre igjen skrur og mekker på båtene sine i havnebassenget, ja da blir turen enda finere.

En helt super førstedag, og jeg gleder meg allerede masse til i morgen. Da skal jeg nemlig adoptere mitt aller første dyr, og samtidig skal jeg titte litt på naboøya til Malta, som er Gozo. Det er også meldt bra vær, så da kan det vel hende at jeg prøver meg på et lite bad i havet også kanskje…

Har du vært på Malta tidligere?
Gi Reinhardt tips om ting han bør sjekke ut, davel!

Redd skilpaddene - A bloggers visit to Malta hosted by 20Twenty

Redd skilpaddene - A bloggers visit to Malta hosted by 20Twenty

I dag har jeg sett skilpaddene Violetta, Romona og Stella returnere tilbake til Middelhavet etter 6 måneder med behandling på Xrobb L-Ghagin Nature Park. Ved hjelp av noen utrolig flinke personer her på Malta, har man restaurert en gammel militær kommunikasjonspost. Dette har delvis vært mulig med EU-midler fra Norge. Man har valgt å bygge opp den gamle basen med fokus på gjenvinning av energi sammen med beplantning av ulike trær og busker. Samtidig inviterer man skoleklasser og andre studenter til å delta i arbeidet. De har ferdigstilt første del av restaureringen og er nå godt i gang med del to.




IMG_4324
I dette programmet finnes det også en marineprofil, hvor man tar vare på skadde skilpadder funnet rundt omkring Malta og Gozo. Disse blir fraktet inn til Xrobbs marineavdeling hvor de blir undersøkt. På den måten kan de finne ut hva skaden er så fort som mulig, og hvorvidt individet kan reddes. I de fleste tilfellene kan dyret reddes, men det krever ofte operasjon eller annen behandling. Skilpaddene blir utsatt for alle mulige slags skader, men som oftest kommer skaden fra båt, fiskesnører eller plast. Det tar dessverre ofte veldig lang tid fra det øyeblikket skilpadden kommer til Xrobb, til den igjen blir sluppet ut i Middelhavet.





Behandlingen av disse dyrene tar lang tid og mange skader er ofte veldig alvorlige. Etter en dag på senteret kan jeg ikke annet enn å bli imponert over arbeidet som legges ned i å redde disse skilpaddene. I dag oppbevares skilpaddene i tanker i et gammelt fort ikke så langt fra Xrobb. Om du hadde nevnt til det engelske forsvaret at fortet om 25 år skulle ta vare på skilpadder istedenfor ammunisjon, ja, da hadde de nok blitt litt sjokkert. Skilpaddene holder til på historisk grunn enn så lenge, men de blir flyttet når Xrobb er klar med del to.



Jeg avsluttet som sagt dagen med å se 3 glade skilpadder forsvinne ut blant bølgene igjen, og jeg var ikke alene om å få se dette… Hele den lille prosessen hvor de svømmer ut i vannet igjen via sandstranden, ble nøye fulgt av media. I tillegg hadde et antall politikere møtt opp, og mye skyldes nok at de har valg i november. Utrolig hvor mange folk som dukket opp på stranden, det ble nesten litt «Cannes-feeling» et par «korte» minutter nede på denne lille stranden.


Nå har jeg faktisk blitt så imponert over programmet jeg har fått lære om, at jeg har adoptert en ny liten skilpadde som ble reddet for ca 2 måneder siden. Gjennom bloggen vil dere kunne følge den lille jente-skilpadden tilbake til havet i november. I morgen får jeg alle adoptivpapirene, og da synes jeg vi sammen skal finne et flott navn til vår nye venn.

Kom gjerne med navnforslag i kommentarfeltet allerede nå!

En nær-KON-TIKI-opplevelse! - A bloggers visit to Malta hosted by 20Twenty

En nær-KON-TIKI-opplevelse! - A bloggers visit to Malta hosted by 20Twenty

Jeg sitter på en liten hyggelig kafe nede i The Three Cities, som de kaller det på Malta. Ingenting er som å sette seg ned på en rolig kafe etter en aktiv formiddag, og bare kunne sitte og titte på livet. Solen skinner. Vi har ca 30 grader, og så langt jeg kan se er det ikke sky på himmelen. Og vi er i oktober!

Jeg tror nesten ikke det kan bli bedre.

Deep Water pool

Three Cities består egentlig av tre ulike bydeler som stikker ut som tre halvøyer inn mot havnebassenget i Valletta. Det var i disse bydelen de ulike ridderne bodde, og de delte også halvøyene opp slik at de ulike nasjonalitetene hadde sitt eget område. Litt som en storby i Europa den dag i dag. Ridderne kom fra ulike land i Europa og ble litt territoriale på Malta, men sto likevel sammen mot alle angrep gjennom de årene de styrte øyene.

Skip fra Troy, Moby Dick




Flere båter fra Troy

Det var også her de startet å bygge opp de fantastiske festningsverkene som du finner over hele Malta og Valletta. Bydelene består i dag av Cospicua, Vottoriosa og Senglea. Nå sitter jeg i Vottoriosa på et lite torg som heter Misrah ir- Rebha og tenker litt tilbake på formiddagen.



Surface Marine Tank




Utstyr fra KON-TIKI produksjon

Jeg har vært så heldig at jeg fikk besøke MFS, som står for Mediterranean Film Studios. Du kjenner kanskje igjen navnet fra pressen hjemme i Norge? Nettopp, det var her de spilte inn store deler av KON-TIKI filmen!



Utsikt over anlegget

Mye av det vi ser på filmen er spilt inn i to av verdens største bassenger for filminnspilling her nede på Malta. Anlegget består at en voldsom stor back lot (som man sier på filmspråket), hvor man kan bygge alt fra en liten brygge til en hel liten by ved sjøen. I tillegg finnes det som sagt to enorme tanker.



I Vottoriosa



En Deep Water tank som har en dybde fra 11 meter til 49 meter og med 43,2 million liter vann. Her kan man senke store skip og mange undervannsscener blir produsert i denne tanken. I tillegg har de den enorme Surface Marine Tank, som er 122m x 92m x1,90.




I Cospicua

Det er denne tanken du ser det meste av tiden i Kon-Tiki filmen. Når jeg var i studioet var det kun Deep Water som var fylt med vannet etter avsluttet filming. Når du står i den enorme Surface tanken skjønner du hvilke effekter de gir til filmene. Her går jeg rundt på samme sted som der hvor Odd-Magnus Williamson, Pål Sverre Valheim Hagen, Gustaf Skarsgård, Tobias Santelmann, Anders Baasmo Christiansen og Jakob Oftebro sloss mot bølger og hai.


Utsikt til Valletta fra Cospicua



I dag er faktisk MFS et veldig kjent sted for filmproduksjon. Her har stjerner som Brad Pitt, Tom Hanks, Gerard Depardieu, William Hurt, Ethan Hawke og Russel Crow laget film. Nylig avsluttet man filmingen av Captain Phillips, som handler om Mærsk-skipet som ble tatt til fange av somaliske pirater. Det har også blitt produsert filmer som Gladiator, Troy, Moby Dick, U-571, Cutthroat Island og Midnight Express.


Jeg får se litt at det mekaniske som blir produsert til de ulike filmene. Med hjelp av ulike mekaniske innretninger kan man produsere ulike bølger, vind, regn osv. Det er først når man står midt i alt sammen at man forstår hvor mye jobb som legges ned i en produksjon. Det er jo noen ganger at man får med «Behind the scene» produksjon på noen av de filmene man kjøper, men dette blir noe helt annet.



Nå blir det bra å avslutte kaffepausen, for nå venter noe helt annet. Medina, midt inne på Malta på 185 moh på et lite platå som heter Dingli. Byen motstod et angrep av 18 000 tyrkere i 1422, og i 1530 kom Malteserordenen hit før de flyttet videre til Brigu og seinere Valletta.

Kempinski og den blå lagune - A bloggers visit to Malta hosted by 20Twenty

Kempinski og den blå lagune - A bloggers visit to Malta hosted by 20Twenty

En oppsummering fra Malta - A bloggers visit to Malta hosted by 20Twenty

En oppsummering fra Malta - A bloggers visit to Malta hosted by 20Twenty

Det er en litt småtrist høststemning i Oslo. Skydekket er lavt, det blåser ganske så kraftig, og i tillegg regner det ganske så jevnt. Da er det ikke så rart at man lengter litt tilbake til Malta! Fortsatt har de godt sommervær der nede og en kan fortsatt nyte fine dager på stranden. Det er færre turister der, selv om du på ingen måte kommer til å være alene. Likevel kan du få et av de fineste bordene på uterestauranten inne i Valletta. Det er behagelig å bevege seg rundt både på Gozo og Malta, og det går fortsatt fint an å ta seg en seiltur ut på havet. Om du tar deg litt ut fra Maltas kyst finner du masse god vind selv om det stille inne ved land.





Valletta syder fortsatt av liv og det er nå du virkelig kan kose deg rundt om i byen. Bare det å gå rundt i de små gatene og bare ta inn stemningen og de flotte bygningene er en opplevelse. Det er nå du finner de riktig gode tilbudene, og i tillegg kan finne den nye sommer kolleksjonen for 2013. Litt tidligere her enn hjemme siden det aldri blir noe ordentlig vinter på Malta. Det er fortsatt en deilig stemming på Westin Dragonara. Ingenting er som å sette seg i resepsjonens restaurant med en god kaffe og kjenne litt på hotellivet. Solen titter inn gjennom de store vinduene og gir hele området en følelse av å være både inne og ute på samme tid.











Har du lyst å bevege deg litt rundt på øya kan du like gjerne leie en scooter som en bil. Scooter er jo mye enklere å parkere i de små gatene. Den tar seg lett fram i trafikken, og er det litt varmt får du bare god frisk luft som kjøler deg ned før neste stopp. Pussig nok er det ikke så mange tohjulinger på Malta. Her er nok malteseren plutselig litt engelsk, for det er bil som gjelder her på øya selv om det er vanskelig å finne parkering i tillegg til laaange køer i rushen. Jeg brukte scooter på store deler av reisen min rundt omkring på Malta og Gozo, og hadde ingen problemer. Det var mer en befrielse å sette seg på scooteren og suse avgårde bortover veien og ta inn gode dufter, kjenne vinden og i tillegg få masse inntrykk på vei til neste mål.












Nå som jeg tenker tilbake på Malta og Gozo, vil jeg passe på å takke alle samarbeidspartnere som gjorde denne livebloggingen mulig;

  • Casapinta
  • Island Caterers
  • Alist
  • air Floral Designer
  • Candylicious
  • Mediterranean Film Studios
  • Godwin’s Garage
  • Jubilee Foods
  • Nature Trust Malta
  • Malta Segway
  • Meridiana Wines
  • Kempinski San Lawrenz Resort
  • Westin Dragonara Resort
  • Quadro
  • Sun and Fun
  • Barbarossa
  • Carmelite priory Café and Museum
  • Limestone Heritage
  • Zeris
  • A&S Water Taxis
  • Gozo Adventures
  • GTA & MTA
  •  Royal Malta Yacht Club

Gjør som meg; Ta en tur til Malta og Gozo om du har lyst å oppleve noe helt nytt!
PS: Husker du at vi har adoptert en skilpadde som snart skal settes ut i havet igjen? Det er tid for å finne navn til denne skilpadden, så klikk deg inn på vår facebookside – og kom med dine forslag!

Video for the DMC and Events Planner

Video for the DMC and Events Planner

The design stage of any MICE project is where you get the most creative. During the event, you’re too busy to enjoy it because you are making sure everything is running according to plan and solving issues that pop out of nowhere (like that inebriated guest who has just jumped on a table singing an 80’s classic).

Amazing places of Malta filmed from the air

Amazing places of Malta filmed from the air

 

Another bird’s eye view video of the best locations on the Maltese Islands has emerged on youtube, courtesy of two travellers who fell head over heels with Malta and Gozo. The footage taken by filming enthusiast Maksym Kvitka and his brother during their one-week holiday in Malta.

There Is Only One Place Like Malta

There Is Only One Place Like Malta

By Constant Steyn

Why is Malta such an unknown tourist destination?  That is this tourist’s question following a weeklong visit filled with breath-taking discoveries.  
“Nowhere on earth is there a place the size of Malta with so many and such a wide variety of antique remnants which blends with the modern world.”

Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting – Malta 2015

Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting – Malta 2015

In November 2015, Malta will host the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting for the second time after a successful event in 2005. The smallest country in the Europe Union and the smallest state in the Mediterranean Sea, The Maltese Islands have served throughout the course of history as a link between North Africa and Europe. Malta, The CHOGM host for 2015, will provide a platform Commonwealth countries to meet and together discuss strategies of collaboration.

The Mdina Grand Prix Classic Car Event

The Mdina Grand Prix Classic Car Event

The Mdina Grand Prix Classic Car Event is a collection of classic car races around the Maltese Islands and a chance for the public to see classic automotive gems on display. This year the event will be held between the 8th of October and 11th of October. As summer closes its curtain for a warm autumn, the Mdina street circuit, set atop a hill of an blissful countryside will host the final race

What Makes Malta the Ideal Conference, Convention or Meeting Destination

What Makes Malta the Ideal Conference, Convention or Meeting Destination

Globally recognised as much for being a culture hotspot as a historic hub and party island for young Hollywood—the bellybutton of Europe offers the ultimate in possibilities for destination meetings. Whether planning a conference near one of its fortified walls or scheduling a corporate event in a 700 year old hospital or at a new-hip beach club, Malta leaves corporate attendees and vacationers longing to return.

August Hat Trick for Gozo

August Hat Trick for Gozo

PRESS RELEASE

August Hat trick for the island of Gozo

On the 16th August the mystical Island of Gozo welcomed the P&O Oriana. This was a landmark call as not only was it Oriana’s maiden call to Gozo but this was also P&O’s first ever call to Gozo. And furthermore, this was the first time that a cruise ship called exclusively to Gozo. Out of 1800 passengers on board, more than 1500 disembarked on shore excursions and independently.

On the 28th August Hapag Lloyd’s flagship, Europa 2 weighed anchor in the same spot just between the island of Gozo and the island of Comino, famous for its magical Blue Lagoon. Guests reported that they thoroughly enjoyed their Gozo experience. In the afternoon the children onboard where treated to banana rides on the ship’s zodiacs, one of which was captained by the Master of the ship himself.

To mark this occasion the Minister for Gozo, the Hon Anton Refalo accompanied by Ms Refalo, Ms Esther Bajada, Director of Tourism & Economic Development (Ministry for Gozo) and his P.R. Assistant Ms Marthese Attard were invited onboard to meet with the Master, Captain Ulf Wolter.

The following day, the elegant Seabourn Sojourn arrived on what was her 5th call of the season and the second in August. Seabourn have been calling on Gozo since April 2006 when Peter Cox, Itinerary Planning Director added Gozo for the first time on a Seabourn itinerary. After more trial calls to monitor passenger feedback which was consistently positive, Seabourn is now Gozo’s most frequent caller.

The Minister for Gozo expressed his satisfaction with the way that Gozo was attracting high-end cruise ships that dovetailed with Gozo strategy of attracting this particular niche market. He also personally thanked Ivan Mifsud, Managing Director of 20Twenty. for his unrelenting support for Gozo.

tel: +356 2124 3341
fax: +356 2124 3303
Mifsud Brothers Ltd.,
14 Lighters Wharf,
Grand Harbour Menqa,
Marsa MRS 1442 MALTA