Asians head for the Med
- Created: Wednesday, 18 March 2015 17:46
Matt Salusbury looks at the broad nationality mix in Maltese ELT
Korean and Japanese nationals don’t need a short stay visa for Malta, but the flights from south-east Asia to Malta are long haul (Turkish Airlines now has direct flights from both Korea and Japan to Malta, with just one stopover). Despite the long journey, south-east Asia has become an important enough market in Malta’s tourism sector for niche market corporate travel specialists such as Special Interest Travel (the clue’s in the name) to have a Japanese division, with Malta-based staff who are Japanese and Chinese nationals.
The most recent figures from the Office of National Statistics Malta (from April 2014, covering 2013) noted an overall decline in ‘Asian’ enrolments for EFL courses on the islands – down by almost a half on the previous year. The term Asian means mostly South Korean and Japanese – arrivals from China and India aren’t significant enough to take them out of the ‘other countries’ category, although some language schools will in any given month have more Chinese across their classes than Koreans or Japanese, and EC Malta told the Gazette it hoped to have more in the future from China.