02 March 2005

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More tourists spending less
Tourism Minister Francis Zammit Dimech greeted cruise liner tourists with optimism as the first figures of incoming tourists for this year started being compiled, but spending is on the low side.
A total 3,144 tourists were registered as having visited Malta on board cruise liners in January, as opposed to none last year. In 2003, 1,977 tourists came to Malta on cruise liners in the same month.
But National Statistics Office data shows that an increase number of tourists is not meaning extra expenditure here.
In fact, tourism expenditure in January reached Lm18.4million, a decrease of 0.1 per cent when compared to the same month – this means a reduction from Lm175 per capita last year to Lm166 this year.
Tourists departing by air from Malta last January spent a total of 559,173 nights here – an increase of 8.1 per cent when compared to January last year.
The Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association has expressed its concern recently over the fact that tourists visiting Malta last year spent Lm3.8m less on accommodation than they did in the previous year.
Also of concern to the MHRA was the fact that over the same period tourists decreased their average stay in Malta from 10.2 nights per person to 9.7 - a decline of five per cent.
a decline afflicting the sector since 2001.

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