Malta Union of Tourist Guides

10 Things To Know About Malta Union of Tourist Guides (MUTG)

1. What year was MUTG established, and where is the headquarters?

Malta Union of Tourist Guides established 1980, in Valletta, Malta. Our current office address is 123a St Christopher Street, Valletta, VLT1461

Bastion guarding Valletta entrance © MTU
Traditional house in Valletta © MTU

2. What is the primary mission/goal of the MUTG?

The aim of the MUTG to protect the collective and individual interest of licensed guides, represent guides with the authorities, promote and encourage the cultural and professional development of its members.

Triton fountain, Floriana © MTU
Traditional dress at artisan market, Gozo © MTU

3. How does someone become a qualified tourist guide in Malta?

To become a tourist guide, one has to satisfy the Malta Tourism Authority that one has the skills and knowledge to act as a guide. Most people follow a course at the Institute for Tourism Studies. The courses run for 2-year full time and 3-year part time. The course is recognised as level 5 of the international skills framework. This will now include 250 hours work experience supervised by a licensed practising tourist guide.

4. After becoming qualified, what are some of the professional development classes that guides typically take in Malta to enhance their knowledge and skills?

The renewal of the license is subject to attending CPD, currently 1-day session every 2 years. MUTG in collaboration with ITS and University of Malta promotes other courses to improve skills and knowledge of guides, we also stimulate attendance at lectures organised by special entities in the field like museums, national library, societies for study of history etc.

5. Is there an official badge that qualified tourist guides in Malta wear?

Tourist guides have a license badge. MUTG members also have a membership card. Pictures of both are below. Tourist guides are expected to wear their licence badge while working. Failure to display their badge can result in fines from €1200 to €4000. This is done to ensure transparency in the profession and promote qualified tourist guides.

Tourist Guide Badge for Malta and MUTG membership card © MUTG

6. How many qualified tourist guides are members of MUTG, and what are their diverse backgrounds? Also, how many languages do they guide in, and do they specialize in themed tours?

There are approximately 400 active tourist guides in Malta at the moment. The MUTG membership is more than half of that, at 210 active tourist guides.

MUTG members are multilingual with some guides speaking as many as 9 different languages. The minimum is 2 languages per tourist guides.

The MUTG members come from a variety of background and that enables them to offer not only mainstream but also highly specialised tours.

7. What are some of the top reasons for using a qualified tourist guide in Malta?

There are many reasons for using qualified tourist guides. The three most important ones are:

  • Qualified Tourist Guides are local people, who live and work in Malta. As a result they have in-depth knowledge of the heritage and customs of the country. Being local means they have up-to-date information on everyday life on the islands and can confidently explain the idiosyncrasies of the country
  • Qualified Tourist Guides are trained to high level, both in theoretical and practical aspects of guiding. In addition they offer a multitude of languages and they can offer interpretation in the language of the visitors’ choice.
  • Guiding without a license is illegal in Malta and there are financial penalties for doing so.

8. What are some of the popular places to visit in Malta?

Malta and Gozo are in the centre of the Mediterranean and as a result have been crossroads of civilizations and cultures from ancient times to today.

  • Malta is famous for its large number of megalithic prehistoric sites, which were constructed before the pyramids. The “temple” of Hagar Qim impresses visitors with its size and the weight (almost 20 tonnes) of the stones speaks of the wonders of early engineering. And if you are into prehistoric archaeology, a visit to the National Museum of Archaeology in Valetta to see the “Fat Ladies” is a must.
  • The hilltop walled medieval city of Mdina (Arabic word for “walled city”) is a unique survival of the Islamic past of Malta. Once inside the impressive walls the visitor can see some of the most splendid historic mansions built for the Maltese aristocracy.
  • The churches of Valetta and in particular the splendid St John’s with its connections to the Knights of St John, are another great attraction. Art enthusiasts will be interested in the largest Caravaggio painting ever produced, “The Beheading of St John the Baptist”.
  • Malta is not only about history. Culinary tours are a great way to experience local life and colour. Maltese cuisine is a microcosm of its history with Italian, French, British and Arabic influences and the freshest sea food.

9. What are some general tips you would give to potential visitors planning a vacation to Malta?

Take enough time to explore. Malta might be small but so rich in offerings that several days are required for any serious exploit.

Where can potential visitors to Malta find out more information about MUTG and also find a qualified tourist guide?

Guides listings are available from the MTA website MUTG does not have a separate website however you can communicate with us and out member via Facebook. The Facebook page @MUTG17 is our interface for messages and guiding requests.