InterCon Malta to target ME market

Inside the InterContinental Malta

The InterContinental Malta has plans to upgrade all 113 club rooms and suites this winter.

The move is in line with its efforts to strengthen and expand its MICE portfolio and focus on the Middle East. “The MICE segment is doing very well and contributes 50 per cent to our revenues. Most of the business originates from Europe mainly from the UK, Germany and Italy with international players like HP, British Petroleum and Nike hosting their events here,” said Alex Incorvaja, director sales and marketing.
This year the hotel is planning to focus on the Middle East. “So far we have not invested much in the ME market but we plan to do so in 2007 as we see good potential, particularly from the UAE as a result of Smart City project,” he said.
The hotel is one of the leading conference facilities in Europe. As the biggest five star property on the island, it features 22 separate meeting rooms, providing a variety of capacities and seating arrangements with over 5000sqm of meeting space, including the Eden Arena – one of the largest indoor spaces in the area with over 2400sqm of uninterrupted floor area and a high arched ceiling, holding up to 1800 people in theatre style and 900 for a gala set up with inbuilt translation booths. There is a separate entrance for large groups, private check-in/reception desks, a fully equipped Business Centre and cloakrooms. Direct and easy access from the car park ensures the efficient set up of additional conference furniture and audiovisual equipment.
Besides the St Julian’s area itself, where the hotel is located, there are a total of five five-star hotels offering 2500 rooms, which is an added advantage for conference organizers.
Malta has been attracting a lot of traffic from Europe ever since the launch of low cost airlines late last year. Consequently, business has grown.
“Figures have turned around ever since and we are looking at 4 to 5 per cent increase between November-January,” Incorvaja agreed. “This year is looking positive, particularly for the first six months as we are witnessing an increase in group travels and also Mice related travel.” 
The hotel’s average occupancy level is around 65 per cent for the full year. In March the figure reached 90 per cent, which is higher than usual. Higher turnout is a result of promotional campaigns launched by the hotel and the MTA.
“For the current year we are planning more active promotions, particularly in the Middle East which is still a very new market for us,” Incorvaja said. “We are now focusing on maximizing our revenues in Malta. Tourism industry is settling down and this year will be a turning point where we will hit new levels in terms of occupancy, growth and profitability ultimately.”
Centrally located in the prime area of St George’s Beach, St Julian’s, the InterContinental Malta is within walking distance of some of the country’s  finest shopping, entertainment and nightlife venues. It has 451 rooms and suites, eight restaurants and three bars.
By Mridula Bhattacharya