The Malta Independent 18 June 2024, Tuesday
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Number of tourists rises by 13% in 2018; 2.6 million tourists visit Malta throughout the year

Albert Galea Tuesday, 5 February 2019, 17:22 Last update: about 6 years ago

There was a 13% rise in the number of tourists coming to Malta throughout 2018, meaning that the country received 2.6 million visitors from all across the globe, statistics revealed by the Malta Tourism Authority on Tuesday show.

The volume of tourism has doubled since 2010, when it stood at 1.3 million visitors.  Leslie Vella, the Deputy CEO of the Malta Tourism Authority's Strategy Development department, said that 2010 was taken as a benchmark for this statistic as it was the year when the global economy emerged from the 2009 financial crisis.


A growth in tourism expenditure was also registered in the annual statistics, with tourists spending €2.1 billion during their stay in Malta.  For comparison's sake, in 2009 the spending by tourists had dipped below €1 billion.

Addressing a conference organised by the MTA, Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi said that the positive results obtained in the tourism sector were due the government's efforts in diversifying Malta's markets and in making Malta a destination with less seasonal fluctuations throughout the year.


Leslie Vella, Deputy CEO of the Malta Tourism Authority

Mizzi said that through new air routes the country had both consolidated its core markets and opened up into new fringe markets as well.  He cited new routes to Cardiff and Exeter in the UK; Verona, Genoa, Perugia and Lamezia in Italy; and Bordeaux in France in the case of the former; while new routes such as those flying to and from Amman in Jordan - operated by Ryanair - and the opening of a route between Malta and Cairo operated by Air Malta, and between Malta and Doha operated by Qatar Airways, the minister said, will serve to further improve Malta's connectivity to new areas of the globe.

Mizzi was pleased to note that as a result of this diversification and the MTA's marketing strategies, the United States became one of the top 10 countries of origin for tourists coming to Malta; around 50,000 American tourists came to Malta during 2018 - a rise of 31%.  There were similarly strong rises in Australian tourists (around 46,000 travelled to Malta) and in Japanese tourists (whose expenditure is double the average).

The minister said that for Malta to continue to develop, the country needed significant investment in visa infrastructure whilst it also needs a "world class" infrastructure.  Mizzi said that the government was currently looking at six proposals for the regeneration of Paceville, whilst similar regeneration is also planned for the Strand in Sliema, for lower Valletta and for the Three Cities.  He added that both Marsaxlokk and Birzebbuga were being regenerated and that once these projects are completed, St. Paul's Bay and Bugibba will be next on the list.

He added that one of the central points of the development of the tourism sector as of late was making Malta a centre for world class events, listing various events which had taken place pertaining to different sectors.  He said that a "world class" theatre production will also soon be announced and will take place in Malta during November and December.  To support these events however, Malta needs to have a fully equipped convention centre which can take large capacities, such as one of 10,000 people, an investment which would cement Malta's credentials as a world class venue for events.

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