Saturday, 31 December 2011

Happy New Year from Merill Eco Tours!

This will be our last blog article for 2011! Oh what a year!

Merill Eco Tours will soon be a year old and we're so proud of the way it's been growing so far.

It's nice to look back at what we have been up to this year. We started off the venture and the year with the Press Launch which took place on the 12th of January. It was raining cats and dogs before and during the presentation, but still a nice crowd of around 50 attended the launch. Hon. Dr Mario De Marco officially inaugurated Merill Eco Tours as the first licensed ecotourism venture operating in the Maltese Islands.
(Click here to view the clips of the TV coverage; TVM and NET TV.)

Following the launch we immediately started cooperating with various tour operators and local DMCs to fine-tune our eco and agri tours, which are offered both for tourists and locals. The exclusive locations, together with the delicious products enjoyed during the tours, have been an asset to put forward a positive and attractive image of Malta as a rural tourism destination.

Our farmers have been kept very busy producing local products and other delicacies for our guests. Along the year we also branded a range of traditional processed products which were brought direct from the farmers and promoted at a number of different occasions and venues. In September we were also pleased to discover that our honey was featured in an official EU publication, amongst many other food products from all around Europe.

Traditional food products from all EU Countries

Sea Salt mini jars as souvenirs

To raise awareness about the richness of the Maltese rural areas, we are now producing short video clips, which we named '90 eco seconds', capturing the very best scenes and activities in local villages. Our first clip features Mgarr, which is truly an agricultural hub of the Maltese Islands.

We sincerely wish a prosperous new year to all our fans all around the world, especially to our dear Maltese expats who follow us regularly. Our special thanks go to our families and friends as well as all our business partners who have been part of this amazing journey.

Lots of eco wishes from Jeanette and Christian!

Sunday, 18 December 2011

It will soon be Christmas!

Hey Merill fans,

hope you're all doing fine! We thought of featuring the red breasted robin as it will soon be Christmas. It is a lovely time to be in the countryside here in Malta. So many winter birds singing and the weather is still nice and warm. Christmas holiday makers are keeping us busy and so are the eco hampers. 

the best seller for Christmas 2011
Though the Maltese people are very price conscious this season, we still had many customers asking for tailor made hampers with their favourite local ingredients. For sweet tooth clients, we included locally made mince pies and treacle tarts, perfect while enjoying a nice cup of tea or coffee. We're proud of these two items in our eco hampers as they are traditionally made with lots of passion and dedication by the staff at Maypole Bakeries. I was personally amazed about the genuineness of these items as they taste just like home made.

This week, I had the opportunity to visit the brand new Maypole Bakery in Tal-Handaq, where dozens of bakers and pastry chefs are busy preparing yummy cakes and pies. Was also pleased to get to know that hundreds of Cassatella tarts are being prepared with local ricotta cheese. The secret ratio between ricotta, sugar, chocolate chips and other ingredients make the Cassatella superb in taste and texture.

Guess I will have to follow a strict diet soon after Christmas, considering all the bountiful items I am obliged to taste on a regular basis...this make me love my job :)

We will keep you posted with more eco news and look forward to have a merry merill Christmas.

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Wednesday, 14 December 2011

90" Eco Seconds - #1 Mġarr: Malta's agricultural hub

What's your view about this first clip we're posting? Would you like to experience these locations?

We took these shots in Mgarr...a truly rich biodiversity hot spot. It is the village with the largest population of full time arable farmers. Many still work their land with the assistance of sons of daughters, and very often their spouses too. Things are not always plain sailing for farmers. They go through many adverse situations including drought periods, marketing challenges and work load. 

The reason why we are shooting these short clips is to raise awareness about the beauty of rural areas in Malta. I speak to many people who find it hard to understand that Malta has a lot of potential in eco and agri-tourism. Meeting real farmers and harvesting/tasting their produce is an experience that many enjoy. The fresh air of the countryside and scenic beauty give visitors a sense of space and relaxation. We are doing our best to include many hidden spots around the islands during our eco tours, surprising our guests with Malta's hidden assets. 

Our "Olive Themed Tour" and the "Malta Vine and Wine Experience" have brought about a new dimension of ecotourism in Malta. These tours are not just eco because we call them so. Real farmers are benefiting from these tours financially. They feel that their land and hard work is being appreciated. Without financial benefits, one cannot expect eco initiatives to last for a long time. We go out of our way to help farmers reach their goals and together create goods and services that make us proud to be Maltese. 

For more information about the principles we practice visit our website 

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