News | Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Italy reports ‘boom’ in Maltese tourism from Bari

Gambling, plastic surgery among the top attractions

According to a story published by the Italian newspaper ‘La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno’, Malta this year witnessed a ‘boom’ in tourism from the southern Italian region of Apulia thanks to RyanAir’s flight from the regional capital of Bari – which has reportedly exposed to Italians Malta’s “casinos and plastic surgery” facilities.
“Very few would have bet even a euro that three flights a week from Bari to Malta would have worked,” the report said. “However, it seems that people from Apulia are discovering this little island at 90 km distance from Sicily, at the southernmost end of Europe.”
The report states that in the past months, RyanAir flights from Bari have exceeded 70 per cent load factor, whereas during the Christmas season, flights were fully booked.
“The answer to why people from Apulia are going to Malta is not the beaches, because the season does not start until April,” the Italian journalist wrote. He adds that Malta’s cultural gems would not be enough to explain the influx either, seeing that “1.2 million tourists, of which many are British, choose the island as their preferred holiday destination every year.”
“We should therefore consider the four casinos on the island, along with health tourism,” the report contended. “Such includes plastic surgery, dental care, hair transplants and complex cardiac interventions”



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25 February 2009

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