Tourism sees strong start to 2024

A record 341,000 tourists came to Malta in the first two months of the year.

In February the number of tourists visiting Malta increased by almost 36,500, or by about 28%. In January and February together, the number increased by nearly 72,500, or 27%, with a record 341,000 tourists coming to Malta in two months. The previous record for the first two months of the year was nearly 296,000 in 2020.

For the first time, the number of tourists over the age of 65 was higher than before the pandemic. This was one of the tourist niches where the recovery had not yet taken place in the past years. Now, only business tourism has not yet reached the pre-pandemic period – possibly because a lot of conferences are now being held digitally.

As a percentage, the biggest increase in the number of tourists was among young people, with an increase of 38% on the previous year. In the first two months of this year almost 74,000 young tourists came to Malta, or 40% more than the pre-pandemic record.

Three quarters of tourists came to Malta for the first time. However, it should be noted that the number of those who were repeat visitors rose to more than 81,000 for the first time.

The number of tourists staying at least one night in Gozo in the first two months of the year reached 9,350, or 38% more than the previous year, while same-day visitors increased by 28%. In the first two months of the year just under half of the tourists visited Gozo. 

Tourists who came to Malta stayed for more than two million nights. On average each tourist stayed for around 6 nights. This led to tourist expenditure reaching more than €224 million, or 21% more than the year. Per capita tourists spent €657. The highest spenders were Americans, with around €1,200, while among the least to spend are Italians, with an average spend of less than €500.  

The outlook for the tourism industry for the coming months is very good. In fact, according to the Malta International Airport, in March there was a 30% increase in the number of passengers coming to Malta compared to March a year earlier. This is another record.   

Photo: Efrem Efre

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