Aito opts for Malta for second overseas conference

Aito opts for Malta for second overseas conference

The Association of Independent Tour Operators is to hold its November conference in Valletta in Malta.

The winter conference, to be held from November 28 to December 1, follows the decision to offer two annual overseas conferences, one for sales staff and one for business owners, of travel agent and tour operator members.

The first of these was held in June in Dubai. Last year one joint overseas conference was held and prior to that agents and operators attended separate conferences abroad.

Aito chairman Derek Moore said: "The winter conference will focus on entrepreneurialism and ways to improve your business whether you are an agent or operator."

It is hoped between 120 and 150 members will attend. Speakers have yet to be announced.

Moore said: "The idea is people who own their own businesses can talk to their peers and compare notes. Speakers will talk about how you can develop your business."

Aito last held a conference in Malta 19 years ago in 1994. The event will be held at the Grand Hotel Excelsior, just a few minutes from the old town.

"We are focusing on Valletta. Aito is mostly niche operators and agents, many of whom have an interest in culture and history and there is a wealth of that in Valletta," said Moore.

Malta has successfully turned around its image to become an upmarket destination, he added.

The Malta Tourism Authority's director Alex Incorvaja said: "The exposure the destination will receive gives us an excellent platform to raise awareness and showcase Malta's diverse offerings to its members."

Flights will be offered out of Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester with Air Malta, with pre and post tours available.

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