Tourism expenditure grows by 6.9
- business travel to Malta on the increase
Over the first nine months of the year, total expenditure
by tourists rose by Lm23 million, or 6.9 per cent, to Lm355.5 million.
As a result, per capita expenditure increased to Lm179.6 from Lm175.1
over the first nine months of 2002.
Over the period, expenditure on package tours to the Maltese Islands
was estimated at Lm178.4 million - an increase of Lm 4.9 million or
2.9 per cent over last year.
Non-package tourists, meanwhile, spent Lm34.4 million on airfares and
Lm26.8 million on accommodation effectively increasing total
expenditure on non-package travel by approximately Lm6 million, or 10.8
Other expenditure accruing to both package and non-package tourists
increased by Lm11.9 million to Lm115.9 million from Lm104 million in
the same period last year.
However, the National Statistics Office, which released the data yesterday,
emphasises that tourism expenditure cannot be equated to tourism earnings
to the local economy.
Over the same nine-month period tourist departures increased by two
per cent over the same period last year and reached 872,324. In the
comparable period last year tourists departures by air reached 855,081.
Around 42.4 per cent of the tourists departing during the period was
made up of British tourists who increased by 4.9 per cent over the same
period last year. Other markets recording increases in tourist departures
included the Austrian, the Belgian, the Danish, the U.S. and the Swedish
The German market, which accounted for approximately 11per cent of all
tourist departures during the period under review, declined by 16,030
tourists or 14.3 per cent. Other declining markets included the French,
the Libyan and the Russian markets.
According to yesterdays statistical release, some 80.6 per cent
of all departing tourists fell within the 25 to 65+ age group, with
the highest proportion, or 35.2 per cent, lying within the 25 to 44
In the period under review, holiday tourists accounted for 83.9 per
cent of all tourists while business tourists accounted for 7.5 per cent.
This shows an improvement in business travel to Malta when compared
to the same period last year, when business tourists accounted for 5.1
per cent of all tourist departures.
It is estimated that during the January-September period, the number
of nights spent in the Malta by tourists departing by air amounted to
a total of 9,023,089, an increase of 9.2 per cent over the same period
last year. The number of nights spent in hotel accommodation establishments
accounted for 57per cent of the latter total nights spent. In the period
under review, a total of 584,008 tourists or 66.9 per cent of all tourists
stayed in hotels; a drop of 1.7 per cent over the previous year. The
number of tourists opting for non-hotel accommodation rose by 27,374
or 10.5 per cent over the same period last year. As a result, the number
of non-hotel nights increased by 804,750 or 26.2 per cent.
Meanwhile, the number of tourists on a package tour accounted for 73per
cent or 637,174 of all tourists departing from Malta by air - a drop
of 4.3 per cent when compared to the same period last year.
The number of tourists departing by air during September was estimated
at 118,472 tourists; a 3.5 per cent decline over the same month last
Tourists departing to the United Kingdom accounted for 47per cent of
all tourist departures and increased by 10.7 per cent over the same
month last year. Other markets recording increases in tourist departures
included the Swedish, Belgian, Danish and U.S. markets.
On the other hand, departing German tourists accounted for 10per cent
of all tourist departures and declined by 36.6 per cent while the French
market, which accounted for 6per cent went down by 24.7 per cent. Departing
Italian tourists declined by 16.7 per cent and accounted for 5.5 per
cent of the total. Other drops in tourist departures were recorded from
amongst others the Russian, Libyan and Swiss markets.