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The Special Thanks And Recognition (STAR) Awards presentation ceremony organised by the Malta Tourism Authority took place on Thursday 8th February at the Corinthia Palace. Now in its 13th year, this annual event recognises exceptional service and hospitality by people who work in the tourism industry.

The event included a number of different awards. The first set of awards were the STAR service awards 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 2017 the MTA received over 12,000 tourist nominations for individuals from all sectors of the tourism industry. The finalists were invited to the event and 9 persons received the STAR Award, these are: Mr. Alfred Bray, Mr. Charlie Bonanno, Mr. Cristian Teuma, Ms. Jacqueline Grima, Mr. Joseph Mercieca, Mr. Michael Pace, Mr. Paul Vella, Ms. Sandrine Masson and Ms. Therese Micallef.

Another important annual award is the Hotel Worker of the Year which was awarded Mr. Joseph Ciprian Magro, Sales Executive at the Solana Hotel & Spa. 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.

This year at the STAR Awards we also recognised Vecchia Napoli SkyParks which is a Quality Assured restaurant with the most nominated staff in 2017. We also introduced the Malta Tourism Authority Worker of the Year award which went to Michelle Camilleri. Another first was recognising the GTA Gozo Tourism Worker and Young Tourism Worker of the year which went to Mr. Manuel Sultana and Mr. Richard Galea respectively.

The last award of the night went to Mr. Emanuel Calleja for outstanding hospitality and kindness. Mr. Campbell, a Scottish national who nominated Mr. Calleja for this special recognition award, came to Malta specifically to present the award.

The MTA CEO Mr. Paul Bugeja highlighted the importance that the excellent work carried out by the people working in the hospitality and tourism sector is recognised. During closing his address, the Minister for Tourism, Hon Konrad Mizzi stressed the importance of initiatives like the STAR Awards and especially in such a key sector that is tourism.

For more information on the STAR awards or to nominate a person working in the tourism industry please visit


List of winners and place of work

Mr. Alfred Bray, Seashells Resort at Suncrest
Mr. Charlie Bonanno, Charlie's Discovery Speed Boat Trips
Mr. Cristian Teuma, Casa Gemelli Boutique Guesthouse
Ms. Jacqueline Grima, Tourist Guide
Mr. Joseph Mercieca, Country Terrace
Mr. Michael Pace, Taxi Driver
Mr. Paul Vella, Zem Coaches
Ms. Sandrine Masson, Meeting Point
Ms. Therese Micallef, Malta Falconry Centre
Mr. Joseph Ciprian Magro, Solana Hotel & Spa (Hotel Worker of the Year)
Ms. Michelle Camilleri, Malta Tourism Authority Worker of the Year award





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