VisitMalta and EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team announce their plans for local cycling enthusiasts

VisitMalta and EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team announce their plans for local cycling enthusiasts

Earlier this year, the Malta Tourism Authority announced that it had signed a partnership agreement with EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team, whereby the VisitMalta brand is given international visibility in international cycling races, while also being promoted on the social media channels of the team, the riders and the management of the team itself, namely two-time Giro d’Italia Winner Ivan Basso, and two-time Tour de France winner, two-time Giro d’Italia Winner, and three-time Vuelta a Espana winner Alberto Contador.

This partnership forms an intrinsic part of the MTA’s ten-year-long strategy for the tourism sector in Malta, where the Authority is continuously investing in improving the overall quality of our tourism product, through a multi-faceted approach. 


Part of this approach is the focus that the MTA and the Ministry for Tourism are putting on the various niches which make up the diverse tourism sector of the Maltese Islands. One of these sectors is sports tourism – a sector in which we have seen an increase in popularity over the last months and years. In all the endeavours in this regard, both locally and internationally, the MTA and the Ministry for Tourism are working towards establishing Malta as a centre of excellence for anything related to sports.

In light of this, the EOLO-KOMETA Pro Cycling Team is currently in Malta for their first-ever VisitMalta Training Camp. During the next days, the riders will be holding private training sessions in Malta and Gozo, while they will also have time to discover Malta and Gozo from a tourism point of view. Moreover, a public bike ride is being organised on Sunday 20th November, with registration taking place at the Radisson Blu Golden Sands at 6am, and with the ride scheduled to start at 7am. This event is open for all cycling enthusiasts and is the first of its kind in Malta.


During a press conference held yesterday, the management of the team said that they were extremely happy to be in Malta, and also spoke of the way that the partnership with VisitMalta is developing in such a way that it is now going beyond promoting Malta as a destination – a sentiment which was also echoed by Mr Carlo Micallef, CEO of the Malta Tourism Authority.


“The cooperation with EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team started off as a brand marketing initiative for the Maltese Islands from a touristic point of view. However, this has now developed into a relationship whereby while the cooperation will continue to see the VisitMalta brand prominently visible on the jerseys of the team, on team vehicles and on social media, thus giving exposure to the brand across the world, wherever the team participates, such as last year’s Giro d’Italia, it has slowly started shifting it into a relationship from which, young Maltese cycling enthusiasts can benefit. I can proudly say that in the past weeks Luke Borg, and Stefan Scerri made the trip to Italy for a two-day trial with the Eolo-Kometa Professional Team in one of their headquarters in Varese, where they left a very good impression during the tests which were made in Italy,” Mr Carlo Micallef said.


Hon Clayton Bartolo, Minister for Tourism said that “We believe that cycling tourism is one of the most important aspects of our tourism sector to diversify the product as much as possible, and this is why we are extremely satisfied with how this partnership is going. In EOLO-KOMETA we see a bit of Malta, as it is a young team, willing to grow and achieve success, which is exactly what we are trying to do with the tourism sector in Malta.”


“VisitMalta for us is more than a partnership because we want to follow up together, we want to promote the Maltese Islands, we want to win races, but we also want to try to build up a dream for Maltese young cyclists,” Mr Ivan Basso said, adding that “this is a big social message that we want to give to young cyclists, so that they can start to dream professional riders, and take part in international competitions, such as the Giro d’Italia. We have just started to test some new talent, and I am sure that if we continue working in this direction we will soon have a Maltese rider join the team and compete with us, and why not, even possibly win!”


Finally, Mr Alberto Contador said that for the team, “the partnership with VisitMalta is an important and incredible relationship. We feel that this partnership can be good for the promotion of Malta, both from a tourism perspective and even from a sport point of view, where we are looking into giving an opportunity for young Maltese riders to visit the training camp of the team, and to even train with the team, as well as attending and eventually participating in some of the best races in the world. I am sure that Malta has some big champions, who still need to be given the opportunity to feature in international races, and thanks to the collaboration with VisitMalta, this will now be possible.”