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Malta: growth in non-EU markets spurs bump in student weeks

The fifth edition of the FELTOM ELT industry survey report shows growth in Malta's ELT sector. Photo: The PIE News

"Malta is also a very attractive destination that contributes to the English learning experience in a way that no other market ever can"

FELTOM’s annual ELT survey report shows that the number of student weeks was up 5% on last year, marking a rise to 245,587 on 2013’s 233,834.

The number of student arrivals also increased 3.4% to 77,550 after falling from 81,911 in 2012 to 74,992 in 2013.

The number of student weeks saw a 5% increase last year

This was the fifth edition of the ELT industry survey report, compiled by Deloitte, which measured the changes and trends in the sector last year. The results were based on responses from FELTOM’s 20 member schools which represent 90% of the country’s ELT industry.

With a slight decrease in the number of student weeks from some European countries including Germany, France and Turkey in 2014, many countries outside the continent have shown a significant increase.

Between 2012 and 2014, the number of student weeks from Brazil and Libya has increased by 116.6% and 231.3% respectively.

FELTOM CEO, Genevieve Abela, told The PIE News that students coming from countries further away are “always bound to stay for longer stays.”

“This is in line with the strategy being adopted by a number of our member schools who are trying to market themselves in new countries outside Europe,” she added.

Abela also credited the sector’s growth to commitment from member schools in a competitive market.

“Malta is also a very attractive destination that contributes to the English learning experience in a way that no other market ever can,” she said.

“Students know they are choosing a safe destination, excellent schools but they also know they are choosing to study in a country which is so rich, diverse and with so much to offer in terms of culture, history and entertainment.”

Despite the strong sector growth, Malta’s ELT sector makes up 2% of the total global market, and Abela says that marketing efforts for Malta as a destination “need to be more aggressive.”

“We really have a great product to offer. Our industry has been operating for over 30 years and we are highly equipped and experienced in this sector,” she said.

“We would like the government to assist us in the marketing efforts”

“We do have the capabilities to cater for a bigger share and this is why we need to be more aggressive in our promotional efforts.”

Similar to last year, the number of student nights in Malta accounted for 12.7% of total visitor bed nights for the island.

However, FELTOM is seeking more support from the government in order to help with the sector growth as well as calling for faster processing of visa applications for FELTOM’s member schools.

“We would like the government to assist us in the marketing efforts,” said Abela.

“Ideally by commissioning a market analysis report which could help us understand more what our competitors are doing and what we can do to attract a better share.”

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