31 December 2003

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Business travel to Malta grows to 7.6 per cent of total

Over the first 10 months of the year, business travel to Malta increased to 7.6 per cent of all travel to Malta, up from the same period last year in which 4.97 per cent of those visiting Malta were for business purposes. Holiday tourists, meanwhile, accounted for 84.2 per cent of all tourists.
Over the same time frame, tourist departures from the Islands increased by 0.3 per cent and reached 982,129. In the comparable period last year tourist departures by air reached 979,541. Around 42.8 per cent of the tourists departing during this period was made up of British tourists who increased by 2.1 per cent over the same period past year. Other markets recording increases in tourist departures included the Austrian, the US, the Danish, the Italian and the Swedish markets.
The German market, which accounted for approximately 11.2 percent of all tourist departures during the period under review, declined by 23,022 tourists or 17.3 per cent. Other declining markets included the French, the Russian and the Libyan markets.
Some 81.5 per cent of all departing tourists were within the 25 to 65+ age group, with the highest proportion, or 33.4 per cent, lying within the 45 to 64 age group.
It has been estimated by the National Statistics Office that over the 10-month period, the number of nights spent in the Maltese Islands by tourists departing by air amounted to a total of 9,994,482, an increase of 7.1 per cent over the same period last year.
The number of nights spent in hotel accommodation establishments accounted for 57.7 per cent of the latter total nights spent. In the period under review, a total of 662,729 tourists or 67.5 per cent of all tourists stayed in hotels; a drop of 2.3 per cent over the previous year. The number of tourists opting for non-hotel accommodation rose by 18,241 or 6.1 per cent over the same period last year. As a result, the number of non-hotel nights increased by 773,540 or 22.4 per cent.
The number of tourists on package tours accounted for 73 per cent or 717,025 of all tourists departing from Malta by air; a drop of six per cent when compared to the same period last year.
During the period under review, expenditure on package tours to the Maltese Islands was estimated at 198.7 million; an decrease of Lm1 million or 0.5 per cent over last year. Non-package tourists spent 38.7 million on airfares and 30.0 million on accommodation thereby increasing total expenditure on non-package travel by approximately 7.3 million or 12.0 percent over the first ten months of last year.
Other expenditure accruing to both package and non-package tourists increased by 10.1 million to 128.8 million from 118.7 million in the same period last year. In the period under review total expenditure, rose by 16.4 million or 4.3 per cent to 396,210,589 million. As a result, per capita expenditure increased to 177.7 from 174.6 of the same period last year.

Copyright © Newsworks Ltd. Malta.
Editor: Saviour Balzan
The Malta Financial & Business Times, Newsworks Ltd, Vjal ir-Rihan, San Gwann
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