Over 317,000 people attend Valletta 2018 events; around 1,665 artists participate in Valletta 2018 events. 

Between January and June 2018, over 317,000 people attended more than 200 Valletta 2018 events, data collected shows.

Over  1,500 local artists and 166 international artists have meanwhile taken part in projects, exhibitions and performances as part of the European Capital of Culture Cultural Programme so far.

This was announced earlier today during a press conference addressing results of the first six months of Valletta 2018.

Valletta 2018 Chairman Jason Micallef said: “These results are a clear indication that Valletta 2018 events, which are taking place all across the islands, are accessible to a wide range of audiences and that artists as well as community members are co-creators in the Valletta 2018 Cultural Programme”.

Research findings show that during  the New Year’s Eve celebrations and the Valletta 2018 Opening events, around 180,000 people visited Valletta (70,000 on New Year’s Eve and 110,000 during Opening Week). In April, il-Festa l-Kbira saw an attendance of 40,000 people, while another 30,000 visited the Valletta Green Festival in May. The second edition of the Valletta Pageant of the Seas was another success with over 50,000 people enjoying the spectacle in the Grand Harbour.

These positive results reflect on Malta’s tourism industry.

Data presented by the Malta Tourism Authority shows that in the first quarter of 2018, a significant increase in the share of tourists visiting the island and who are ‘greatly motivated’ by culture, has been recorded. 15% of tourists visiting Malta in the first three months of this year were primarily motivated by culture compared to 9% registered in the year 2017. Valletta 2018 featured as a main motivation to visit Malta for 13.5% of tourists in the first quarter of 2018. This share is three times bigger than the one registered in 2017.

Tourists are well aware of Valletta 2018 before visiting Malta, with the share of tourists unaware declining from 31% in 2015 to a mere 4% during the period January to March 2018.

Valletta 2018 has also provided job-opportunities to hundreds of employees.

Results show that total full-time employment in the Cultural and Creative Industries (CCIs) has increased from 8,618 in Quarter 1 of 2014 to 10,201 in Quarter 2 of 2017, equivalent to an 18.4% increase over a three year period. One should note that during the same period under review, total full-time employment in Malta also increased by approximately 18%. The majority of the 10,201 individuals employed on a full-time basis in the CCIs were employed in the private sector, 93.6%, whilst the remaining 6.4% were employed in the public sector. Part-time employment in the CCIs increased over a three-year period from 1,612 in 2014 Q1 to 1,912 in 2017 Q2, equivalent to an 18.6% increase.

The results presented by the NSO show that the majority of Maltese are pleased with the events of Valletta 2018, and believe that this is a good opportunity for Malta and feel proud of the work done so far. Knowledge of Valletta 2018 increased significantly from 2014 to date; an increase from 65% to 91%.

Other successful events in the city include the Malta Fashion Week and Awards, which saw another 4,500 people attending, with around 300 people at St Elmo on each night, and more than 2,500 people at Triton Square for the Awards’ night. To date, more than 9,400 people have also visited Valletta 2018’s major visual arts exhibition, Dal-Baħar Madwarha.

More than 1,800 people attended a number of music concerts and performances between January and June including The Other Europeans, Icon Island – A Live Battle of Pictures and Sounds, Ida Kelarova’s Jazz Famelija and Apocalypse Trio.

During the first six months of 2018, several events for children and young people were held in different areas of the Maltese islands. These included Años Luz; Valletta 2018’s premier children’s event involving shadow puppetry workshops and performances which saw 800 children attending at Mqabba Primary School, and another 220 attending at the Parish Hall in Għajnsielem, Gozo. The Strange Travels of Señor Tonet which happened at Esplora in Kalkara and in Valletta and Ġaħan18 which took place in Valletta, Bormla, Mellieħa, Qormi and Lija, where also part of the children’s programme. Solar Cinema also has a special short film edition for children happening across various localities over the summer, while stop-motion film workshops for children during the Valletta Green Festival were also  successfully held.

Some of these events were held in collaboration with various primary schools and local councils. These include Magna Żmien; an ongoing memory-gathering project organised with the help of the Birgu, Mellieħa, Siġġiewi and Victoria (Gozo) local councils, Subjective Maps; a community project which saw workshops held at Victoria and Birżebbuġa primary schools and at the Leap Centre in Qawra, and Solar Cinema; a pop-up mobile cinema with film screenings in over 20 localities throughout the summer of 2018.

Locals in various communities across all regions of the Maltese islands also experienced live performances by 20 local and international artists giving 22 performances in the comfort of people’s homes. Residents of Rabat, Manikata, Qormi, Ħamrun, Santa Venera, Żejtun, Cospicua, Vittoriosa, Gżira and Sliema transformed their private homes into public performance spaces for Altofest Malta 2018.

Hundreds of artists are an essential part of the Valletta 2018 success.

Results show that more than 1,600 local and international artists have participated in Valletta 2018 events so far – these include musicians, actors, acrobats, dancers and other performers during special events. The Valletta 2018 Opening Week saw the participation of over 1,000 artists, both local and international. During the Valletta Pageant of the Seas, 454 artists worked on various performances including the performance with La Fura Dels Baus, while more than 400 people participated in other activities including the powerboat and sailing boat shows (40 people), Tellieqa Telliqun (160 people) Toni Bajada Open Water Swim (200 people) and Għawma Toni Bajada (36 people).

Valletta 2018’s social media platforms, which help to further promote the European Capital of Culture’s projects and events both in Malta and internationally, have registered an average reach of more than 574,000 users, with over 20,000 people regularly following Valletta 2018’s Facebook and Instagram pages.

Parliamentary Secretary for Consumer Affairs and Valletta 2018 Deo Debattista said that “the statistics we are launching today show a significant increase of tourists in the first quarter of 2018. 96% of tourists who visited Malta in the first three months of this year knew of Valletta 2018 and cultural related activities. From this point of view, in only a year, we have seen an increase of 6% (9% in 2017)”. He said that “this is all a result of good work by the Government and the Valletta 2018 Foundation with the largest cultural investment in the country a success”.

Minister for Justice, Culture and Local Government made reference to the great strides done in this sector. “ During the past five years, the budget for culture has increase substantially and such direct investment in the sector will yield long term results. Our job is to keep on nurturing culture and the arts, whilst preparing a sound foundation for future generations to increase sustainability.”

Although the title of European Capital of Culture stops at the end of 2018, the work of the Valletta 2018 Foundation and the legacy it will leave behind will not end. Work will continue to be done by virtue of the Valletta Cultural Agency  which was announced this morning by Parliamentary Secretary Deo Debattista and approved by the Minister of Culture Owen Bonnici; a new body that will assure that culture in the city and its surroundings continues to strengthen over the years.