Heritage sites will be marketed abroad to people confined in their homes because of COVID-19, encouraging them to choose Malta as the first country to visit once borders reopen. 

The tourism and national heritage ministries have teamed up with Heritage Malta and the Malta Tourism Authority to launch a showcase of videos urging prospective tourists to “see Malta now and visit later”.

Tourism Minister Julia Farrugia Portelli launched the initiative at the megalithic temple complex Ħaġar Qim in Qrendi, declared a Unesco World Heritage site 28 years ago. Some 200,000 people visited the site in person in 2019.

Malta’s unique heritage was one of the best ways to attract tourists National Heritage José Herrera said at the launch, adding that Malta needed to adapt to the new reality brought about by COVID-19 if it wanted to remain relevant. 

The authorities and Heritage Malta had turned to technology to continue selling the Maltese product.

“The national agency was sampling unique artefacts and featuring them in videos with subtitles in various languages to give prospective tourists a taste of what they could find here,” he said.

Heritage Malta has had to close its doors to tourists when the pandemic reached the islands.

However, it soon launched an online platform that among others provides virtual tours with site curators and of underwater wrecks, documentaries, lectures and interactive activities for children, as well as online competitions culminating in an exhibition at Muża once the outbreak is over.

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