Breaking last year’s records

January was the 34th consecutive month in which the number of tourists has increased by a double-digit percentage growth rate.

After every record of the tourism industry was broken last year, this year opened with yet more record activity as the number of tourists visiting Malta increased to 172,021 in January, or 26% more than the record achieved in 2023.

This was the 34th consecutive month in which the number of tourists has increased by a double-digit percentage growth rate. The previous best streak was in 2017 and 2018, when there were 24 consecutive months with a double-digit growth rate.

The tourists who came to Malta in January spent 1 million nights in the country. The revenue that they left reached €110 million, 11% more than last year. The increase in tourism came mainly from EU countries, although tourism from outside the Union also increased. Most tourists stayed in hotels, with an increase of 26% over 2023. There was also a sharp increase in tourists staying in private residences, with growth of 37%.

Interestingly, the number of tourists who came in January and who were over 65 years old almost reached the number observed in 2019, before the pandemic. This indicates that, even among the elderly, the effect of the pandemic on travel is ending. However, the number of tourists who came to Malta for business or conference purposes remained well below pre-pandemic records, suggesting that, in this sector, the pandemic has led to a change that can start to be considered as permanent.

The statistics published also indicate that, for every night, tourists spent €109, a 14% increase on last year. Before the pandemic expenditure per night was €93. This indicates that tourists who are coming to Malta are spending more than before while staying for less nights per capita. These are positive trends because they mean a lower impact of the industry in terms of pressure on infrastructure, but an enhanced economic impact.

Meanwhile, a statement by the Malta International Airport shows that even February is expected to break last year’s records, as there was a 25% increase in passenger numbers.

Photo: Efrem Efre

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