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The Maltese Tourism Authority has recently announced that they are receiving the largest number of air travellers to the country from Britain and Ireland for the past six years. In the first seven months of 2007, passenger numbers are up 10.4% on last year amounting to 634,000 British and Irish visitors to the island this year.
Chris Fenech, UK & Ireland director for the Malta Tourism Authority attributes this growth to a couple of factors: "Areas such as Wales and Ireland have seen a significant rise due to increased flights, plus the overall growth can be attributed to a combination of increased awareness of what's on offer in Malta and a number of low cost carriers entering the market."
Indeed the introduction of airlines offering much cheaper tickets than previously available, operating from major regional airports throughout the UK and Ireland have definitely made a difference. The island has always boasted beautiful natural features and friendly locals, but in the past it was always expensive to fly there. Now though, with the opening up of the cheap airline routes to Malta more people can take advantage of its attractions. Even the Queen is getting in on the act as she is due to visit the island in November, although it is highly unlikely that she will be travelling by low-cost carrier!
However, now that it is easier to get to Malta more of us are able to enjoy its delights. This beautiful Mediterranean island is very small and you can visit it in its entirety by taking advantage of the abundance of cheap car hire Malta has available. One of the most stunning natural features is the sublime Blue Lagoon, where copper sulphate fills the water and gives off an amazing azure blue sheen, and is easily reached by car. Further round the coast the rocky island's only significant sandy beach is to be found at Golden Bay and no drive around the island would be complete without a trip to the stunning capital of Valetta.
If the fabulous attractions and the cheaper airfares tempt you into considering Malta for a break, then before you fly remember that car hire in Malta is relatively cheap and easy to organise prior to leaving the UK. Although if you don't book in advance and you decide to you want to drive after you've arrived you'll find plenty of car rental offices at the airport and in the capital Valletta.