It’s one of the highlights of the year, the Irish Travel Trade Awards… and not just because I get my kiltie out!
I don’t know if there was a drawing of lots when I first arrived as to who would end up with me at their table.
But it was my pleasure to spend the evening again this year with my Maltese pals.
There’s a synergy about Malta for me, it being where I bent down to tie my shoelace only to then discover I’d got engaged.
And also it being my first Press trip after a 12-year hiatus when I swore off them when I got…
Mugged in Marrakech and food poisoning in the Sahara Desert.
Malta restored my faith in Press trips five years ago and the rest is history.
As I’ve very nearly been.
On almost every one of them.
Save for the unstinting and patient help of any number of hosts.
Now there are many similarities between our wee islands and we’re both steeped in Catholic tradition.
They have a cracking Christmas Village from December 1 and a 35ft Christmas Tree by the Valletta waterside.
And an Eco Christmas Market on December 21 and 22 at Magazzino Hall, Valletta Waterfront.
And, of course, it wouldn’t be Christmas without a dip in the sea.
But while we freeze our whatsits off at the Forty Foot they have…
The Thomas Smith Christmas Charity Swim off the pier by Independence Gardens, Sliema.
You’ll be wanting somewhere to stay?
Why not try the 5* Phoenicia Malta, just outside the City Gate of Valletta. From €116 per room per night.
Or the 5* Corinthia Hotel St George’s Bay for €125 per night in a deluxe sea view room including breakfast.
Visit www.maltaireland.com. And here’s one I prepared earlier… Malta easer.
Of course back to the awards at the Clayton Hotel, Burlington Road, Dublin.
And for all the legendary ladies of Ireland’s Travel Trade on show, I still had the best legs.
Keep posted and I’ll be namechecking the Travel Trade partners from the night. Also visit https://www.ittn.ie.
For whom this is a well deserved chance to have a night off and a rare drinkie.