As the busy summer draws to a close, the Malta Business Network invites you to a panel event that will take stock of this year’s peak tourism season.

How has the country recovered from the harsh blow dealt by the COVID-19 pandemic and what is the road ahead? The panel, moderated by Josef Formosa Gauci, will discuss what the future focus of Malta’s tourism product ought to be - should policymakers keep seeking to fuel arrivals figures, and how can the country reposition itself to attract higher quality tourism?On the panel will be Alan Borg, CEO of Malta International Airport, Stephen Xuereb, CEO of Valletta Cruise Port PLC, Carlo Micallef, CEO of the Malta Tourism Authority, and Tony Zahra, president of the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association.

Secure your spot today by Registering HERE.

Our moderator:

Josef Formosa Gauci has served as President of the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association and was a member of the boards of the Malta Business Bureau and the MCESD. He is currently Chairman of the Malta Airport Foundation.He was educated at De La sale College Malta and Stonyhurst College in the UK and graduated in economics from Nottingham University in 1989. He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and a fellow of the Malta Institute of Accountants.Formosa Gauci worked with Price Waterhouse in England and in Malta and was subsequently General Manager of the Galaxy Hotel Sliema and of Trident Developments Ltd within the Farsons Group.In 2008 he was appointed CEO of the Malta Tourism Authority, a post he held up to 2014. He has subsequently served on a number of Boards amongst which companies within the SMS group, the Xara Group and the AX Group. He also acts as consultant to the Mellieha Bay Hotel Board.

Our speakers:

Carlo Micallef is CEO of the Malta Tourism Authority. Micallef started his career at the Malta Tourism Authority more than 25 years ago.He has occupied different positions in the Marketing Directorate, headed the International PR Unit, and held various overseas postings. He was appointed Chief Marketing Officer for MTA in 2014 and in 2018 was promoted to Deputy CEO.As Malta relaxed its travel regulations, in 2022, he was called to take on the position as CEO, and tasked with leading the Recovery, Re-Thinking and Revitalisation of Malta’s tourism industry.Micallef is a graduate of the University of Malta in Commerce and Business Management.

Stephen Xuereb is CEO of Valletta Cruise Port PLC. He was first appointed Chief Operating Officer of Global Ports Holding Plc in 2016. Xuereb has been involved in the cruise industry since the inception of Valletta Cruise Port PLC in 2002, serving first as its CFO until 2014 before taking on the role of CEO. Valletta Cruise Port in one of the key cruise destinations in the Mediterranean.At Global Ports Holding Plc (GPH), Xuereb formed part of the core team during the IPO process on London Stock Exchange and the subsequent expansion. Xuereb also sits on a number of Boards within the Group. Prior to entering the Cruise sector, Xuereb held positions in the audit and financial advisory sectors, as well as the retail, property and hospitality industries. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Accountants and a Henley MBA graduate.

Alan Borg is the CEO at Malta International Airport. With a background in hospitality, Borg first joined MIA in 2007. He was instrumental in the expansion of the airport’s route network as well as the diversification of the company’s non-aviation activities.An important non-aviation project that was completed under his watch was the company’s first office block, SkyParks Business Centre, the success of which spurred further development plans for the wider airport campus. Borg has served as the airport’s Chief Executive Officer since 2015.In 2023, he was elected to Airports Council International Europe’s regional board where, together with the other board members, he represents European airports.

Tony Zahra started out in tourism in the early 70’s when tourist arrival numbers were counted in thousands and connectivity was measured in single digit civil aircraft landings. He has seen many ups and and some serious downs in the local tourism industry over the law many years.Zahra has held investment interests in most sectors of the hospitality industry in Malta and some interest abroad as well as significant interests in Maltese  financial services.He has held the Presidency of Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association for the last number of years.  He is Malta representative on the EU hospitality lobby group HOTREC and was Honorary Consul for the Republic of Lithuania in Malta for 25 years until he retired in 2018. Zahra was awarded Malta’s order of merit in 2018.