Malta Tourism Authority has appointed Tolene Van der Merwe as its new UK and Ireland director.
Van der Merwe joins the tourist board following five years as hub head of South African Tourism for UK and Ireland and replaces Peter Vella, who stepped down last month.
Her new role will focus on leading Malta Tourism Authority’s London-based team to develop and strengthen partnerships with tour operators, airlines and travel agents as well as liaising with PR contacts and launching marketing initiatives to promote Malta and Gozo to holidaymakers in the UK – the destinations’ largest source market.
Van der Merwe began her career in the travel sector at South African operator, Exclusive Getaways, before joining African Affair Travel and going on to found Boutique Travel Marketing.
She said: “The archipelago has had a fantastic boost in its tourism in the past few years and is now considered to be one of Europe’s hottest destinations for history and culture, LGBT+, gastronomy, diving, and soft adventure travel.
“With attentions now turning to wellness, city breaks and sustainability, I’m excited to be part of the tourism authority’s increasing success in drawing a variety of travellers to experience all that the islands have to offer.”
Malta Tourism Authority’s deputy chief executive, Carlo Micallef, said Van der Merwe’s appointment would allow the organisation to “build on the success” achieved under Vella in the past four years.