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During the launch of Malta’s first obstacle course race known as “The Grid”, Minister for Tourism Dr Edward Zammit Lewis stated that this event will further enhance Malta’s image as a diverse destination while it is an honour for Government to support The Grid, making Malta’s already rich calendar of events even more appealing and attractive. The event is to be held on the 28th May, 2016.

The Minister for Tourism emphasised that Government, as stated within the National Tourism Policy 2015-2020, acknowledges the immense potential of Sports Tourism that is an increasingly growing segment and a contributor to our country’s economy. The Maltese islands are being promoted as a suitable destination for a number of outdoor activity holidays such as diving, walking, cycling and rock-climbing. “We believe that Malta and Gozo are ideal destinations for sports and outdoor activities to be practiced all year round,” said Dr. Edward Zammit Lewis.

Furthermore, the Minister stated that sport events like “The Grid” have the potential to generate more business in what are typically considered the lean months of the year. The Ministry for Tourism, the Malta Tourism Authority in cooperation with all industry stakeholders, shall leave no stone unturned in the quest to continue developing new tourism related niches and activities that generate incremental business for Malta and Gozo during the winter months of the year, and also beyond. The Minister noted that Malta offers a unique setting to both participants and spectators to this event. Its history, mild climate, and hospitality are well known internationally and this is exactly what makes our islands highly appealing destinations for tourists and visitors all-year round. Further to this, Dr Zammit Lewis stated that we are focused to promote Malta also as a high-quality tourism destination, reaping the advantage of our islands’ unique and distinct features, particularly the diversity of tourism experiences we are able to offer together with our extraordinary cultural wealth and heritage.

Dr Edward Zammit Lewis pointed out that the Malta Tourism Authority (MTA) has concluded a three year sponsorship agreement with The Grid and will effectively promote such event on all social media platforms both local and internationally. Moreover, this event shall also be promoted by relevant Sports Associations and travel agents while MTA will be inviting specialized bloggers, journalists and TV crews to cover this event internationally.

The Minister for Tourism congratulated the organisers of this initiative that is in tune with the Government’s vision to strengthen the image of brand Malta internationally, in the tourism sector and beyond, and wished everyone involved a successful event.

The press conference was also addressed by MTA Chairman Gavin Gulia who mentioned how MTA’s active promotion of this segment is bearing fruit. “Our ultimate goal is to put Malta and Gozo firmly on the map as sports tourism destinations in the region. We believe that high calibre events, especially those which like The Grid are held on a regular basis can help us achieve this aim.”

The Grid organisers said that this is the first obstacle race of its kind to be held in Malta, comprising of a 15km course and various obstacles along the path making the course more challenging and rewarding for everyone participating. The Grid is not just a normal road race but a challenge for individuals and teams with the sole purpose of accomplishing a goal and having fun whether in team building or personal satisfaction. Whilst expressing gratitude to the Ministry for Tourism and all sponsored involved they have stated that “Malta offers the ideal terrain and weather for such an event and we have taken advantage of a great scenic route to make the course even more attractive to our participants”.

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