17 OCTOBER 2001

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Michael Refalo expresses satisfaction at Tourism results

Following the publication of the National Office of Statistics tourism arrivals return for July 2001 and complete information relative to the first six months of this year, Tourism Minister Michael Refalo congratulated the Malta Tourism Authority and tourism operators for turning in a creditable performance.

He said that July results follow the Ministry / MTA forecast as one could see an ongoing trend of a lower volume of arrivals from Germany, the Benelux and Libya. January to July totals from these markets show a shortfall of around 48,000, most of which has been made up from other sources, notably the UK, France, Russia and other smaller markets. The total for the first seven months of 2001 is 0.9% below 2000 levels.

The overall visitor total for July 2001 is 1.5% lower than that for July 2000 but is still the second highest ever recorded. The Minister said, "all in all, and given prevailing circumstances, I find the final out-turn to be quite acceptable. Most Mediterranean destinations faired badly this summer. I am however disappointed that estimated earnings for the first two quarters are slightly below last year’s".

"I am however very pleased that guest night totals for the first two quarters have increased by 1 million, while the average length of stay has moved from 8.18 days to 9.44 per visitor".

Turning to hotel occupancy levels, the Minister highlighted the fact that hotels are performing better than in 2000. "Occupancy in all categories has improved substantially. For example compared to 2000 in June 2001 5 Star Hotels were 9% up, 4 Star 12%, 3 Star 11%, 2 Star 13% and 1 Star 1%. Complexes, villages and aparthotels averaged a 10% increase".

The Minister said that preliminary results for August and September despite the Twin Towerstragedy, follow the same trend.

The Business Times, Network House, Vjal ir-Rihan San Gwann SGN 07
Tel: (356) 382741-3, 382745-6 | Fax: (356) 385075 | e-mail: editorial@networkpublications.com.mt