Malta Tourism Authority (MTA) organised the Special Thanks And Recognition (STAR) Awards on Thursday 23rd of February at the Radisson BLU Resort in St. Julian’s to recognise exceptional service within the tourism industry. The STAR Awards is an annual event and award that allows tourists to nominate personnel within the tourism sector that have made an impression during their holiday by offering outstanding service. Almost 5,500 nominations were received by the MTA in 2016.
Additionally, the MTA also awarded the Hotel Worker of the Year. The winner of this award is chosen by the STAR committee consisting of members of the Federated Association of Travel & Tourism Agents (FATTA), Institute of Tourism Studies (ITS), The Malta Association of Hospitality Executives (MAHE), Malta Hotels & Restaurants Association (MHRA), and the MTA.
Hon. Edward Zammit Lewis, Minister for Tourism, held an address where he emphasised the relevance of high-quality service and cautioned against risks of complacency by relying on past success, competitiveness needs to be maintained through continuous hard work and improvement of the product.
The CEO of the MTA, Paul Bugeja, stressed during the event that reliance on human resources is heavy within the tourism industry and that the awards intend to highlight this. He also pointed out that hospitality is a strong national trait in Malta and a much-appreciated characteristic for tourists.
The site starawardsmalta.com have now been launched allowing tourists to submit nominations and access vouchers and discounts. The site will also function as a platform for the industry to participate in the scheme.
The STAR Awards for the year 2016 went to:
- Ms Patricia Flores Martin, Tourist Guide
- Mr Warren Galea, Falconer, Malta Falconry Centre
- Ms Natalene Smith, Sales Representative, Supreme Travel
- Mr Ridha Ben Moussa, Front Office Manager, Salini Resort Hotel
- Mr Mark Dove, Boatman, Paradise Diving and Water Sports
- Mr Martin Hall, Diving Instructor, Neptunes Diving Centre
The Hotel Worker of the Year for 2016 was awarded to Ms Doreen Bonnici from the Pergola Hotel & Spa.
See the full press release by the MTA.