Malta Increasingly Recognized For More Intensive, Specialized English Language Courses.

Feb 19, 2016 | by Maria Vella-Galea

“2015 was another intensive year for FELTOM during which we had ample opportunity to assert our organisation’s three main roles namely upholding a strong and reliable accreditation policy, lobbying for a stronger industry and marketing our services abroad. FELTOM’s efforts are bearing fruit. In fact, in 2015, our member schools seem to have registered more growth through longer stays by visitors choosing Malta to study English.”
This was announced by Julian Cassar Torregiani, Chairman of FELTOM, during his opening address at yesterday’s FELTOM Annual General Meeting held at Radisson SAS Blu Resort in St Julians.
Referring to FELTOM’s intensive annual marketing campaign, Mr Cassar Torregiani noted how visitors studying English are increasingly recognising Malta not only as a place where to visit just for introductory courses but also as a destination where to further advance their tuition through more intensive and specialized courses.
“We have attended a number of international marketing fairs where we had the opportunity to meet and build on the relationship with international agents considering Malta for their clients. We also stepped up our communications with marketing publications both locally and abroad and soon, we will be hosting our Malta workshop which is already over-subscribed with local and foreign participants and a number of agents waiting to be included.”
Referring to the challenges, Mr Cassar Torregiani added “oof course, 2015 also brought its fair share of challenges such as the not so straightforward and still sometimes very demanding procedures to help our clients obtain their necessary visas and temporary residence permits and the rather complicated relations with the police especially last summer as we endeavoured to organise our regular series of summer events for the younger students for them to enjoy themselves within a safe and controlled environment.”
“Facing these challenges confirmed FELTOM as a valid lobby group whose interest is solely that of seeing the ELT industry grow further, and of establishing Malta as a major quality ELT destination. I firmly believe we’re on the right track,” added Mr Cassar Torregiani.
He concluded by saying that this year, FELTOM should be announcing yet another prospective new FELTOM member school.
The AGM was also addressed by Paul Bugeja, CEO of MTA who noted how Malta is privileged to be a bilingual country where both English and Maltese enjoy equal status, an advantage that eventually led to the start of our local ELT industry.
“MTA is happy to note that with an average of 80,000 English learning visitor arrivals every year, the ELT industry is a big contributor to the growth of our tourism market. This confirms the importance that we all need to keep giving to ensuring quality. Principally the ELT business is that of education. The industry has to keep supporting studying visitors to achieve quality tuition whilst ensuring that due diligence is employed which is crucial to achieve higher standards.”
“Entertainment and learning should be hand in hand as these assure the uniqueness of the product that Malta is offering in the ELT industry. Quality, consistency and commitment are finally, the keys that will help this industry to grow further,” added Paul Bugeja.
Carlo Micallef, Chief Marketing Officer of MTA referred to new plans that MTA has for 2016 as well as initiatives based on FELTOM’s recommendations and outlined how the MTA’s budgets are for the first time being allocated according to industry segments within regions.
“This strategy allows for more focused and effective segment marketing, on-the-field expertise to drive segment marketing, develop marketing all-rounders, define a clear ownership, allow cross-marketing with other segments and improve funding of segment marketing.”
In his presentation, Carlo Micallef also explained the various marketing drives undertaken in different markets specifically to promote EFL industry in Malta and listed an improved airline network that should support the industry further.