Hospitality Malta 02 - Page 37

MTA research shows that 30% of inbound tourists are repeat visitors, going up to 56% in the case the UK market. When it comes to tourists’ decision to visit the Maltese Islands, the research shows that 39% of de- cisions are based on digital media and a further 35% are based on word-of-mouth recommendations. Generally speaking, nine of every ten tourists currently visiting Malta rate the ‘hospitality of lo- cal people’ as very good or good, while 93% of tourists rate the overall experience positively and would recommend the destination to their friends and relatives. Tourism in the digital era is a whole new ballgame. Travellers now have access to unlimited research out- lets and peer reviews. Of those who use travel blogs, forums and review sites, it emerges that more often than not, such online tools have had an influence on the trav- el decision. In fact, data by IPK International indicates that 39% of travellers admit that such sites have influenced their choice of 30% of inbound tourists are repeat visitors, going up to 56% in the case the UK market. HOSPITALITY MALTA “93% of tourists rate the overall experience positively and would recommend the destination to their friends and relatives” travel destination, 31% on choice of accommodation and a further 20% on choice of holiday type. MTA’s own research further con- firms that these sources play a ma- jor role in the decision making of tourists. The latest surveys sug- gest that four of every five tourists currently visiting Malta are social media users. During their stay, around 53% of tourists access the internet/social media to share sta- tuses/photos/videos of their ex- perience in Malta. This is mostly done via smartphones. In recent years the Malta Tourism Authority has ramped up its efforts in terms of guarding Malta’s rep- utation as a tourism destination. Through its partnership with ReviewPro – a market leader in online reputation management solutions - the MTA constant- ly monitors the online reviews of over 110 Maltese collective ac- commodation establishments on a daily basis. ReviewPro collates such reviews from around 70 different sites, including booking engines, social media and review sites, cov- ering all the major languages. The main objective of this Repu- tation Management exercise is to pay particular attention to nega- tive reviews which are made about tourists’ accommodation experi- ences while in Malta. When moni- toring such reviews, MTA makes it a point to alert the establishment concerned so as to encourage a response to the negative review. SEPTEMBER | 2017 35