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The Special Thanks And Recognition (STAR) Awards presentation ceremony organised by the Malta Tourism Authority took place on Thursday evening. Now in its 11th year, this annual event recognises exceptional service by people who work in the tourism industry.

The STAR awards is an initiative which sees the tourists themselves nominate people they have met during their holiday who, in their view, offered outstanding service and helped make their stay better. In 2015 the MTA received almost 7,000 tourist nominations for individuals from all sectors of the tourism industry.

Another important award on the night was the Hotel Worker of the Year. For this award, employees are nominated by the hotel where they work and the winner is chosen by the STAR committee which has five members hailing from different tourism-related organisations, namely FATTA, ITS, MAHE, MHRA and the MTA.

During his address, the Minister for Tourism, Hon Edward Zammit Lewis emphasised the importance of offering high quality service with a product to match. He also cautioned against the risks of complacency, mentioning that one cannot rely on past successes, but needs to continue working hard and improving one’s product offer in order to remain competitive.

The MTA CEO Mr. Paul Bugeja, referred to the importance of acknowledging that the tourism industry relies heavily on human resources and that these awards aim to recognise those people who are its foundation. He stated that every nomination is valuable, not only the winning ones, as each highlights the quality of service that the nominated individual offers. Mr Bugeja concluded by saying that hospitality has always been a strong national trait and continues to be one of the most appreciated characteristic of a Malta holiday, as confirmed in all surveys conducted by MTA.

During the event, 8 nominees received a STAR Award, consisting of a glass trophy, a certificate and a monetary gift. These were:


  • - Charles Abela – Restaurant Manager, The Victoria Hotel;
  • - Francis Apap – Taxi Driver;
  • - Anna Aquilina – Tourist Guide;
  • - Anthony Fenech – Coach Driver, Zarb Coaches;
  • - Paulina Kurowska – Diving Instructor, Paradise Diving Centre;
  • - Barbara Pucciarmati – Sales Representative, Tours Information;
  • - Doreen Scicluna – Falconer, Malta Falconry Centre; and
  • - Sonia Teuma – Front Office, Maria Giovanna Guest House, Gozo.


The Hotel Worker of the Year for 2015 was awarded to Thesesa Taliana from the Pergola Hotel & Spa.

During the ceremony, a recognition award was given to Mr. Stuart Burke for his contribution to the tourism sector. 






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