The Malta Independent 4 August 2020, Tuesday

Nights spent in tourism accommodation saw drastic 99.38% decline during the peak pandemic outbreak

Tuesday, 21 July 2020, 10:16 Last update: about 13 days ago

During April, Malta saw a drastic decline in tourism nights spent in accommodation, with Eurostat noting a decline of 99.38% compared with the same month in 2019.

Data published by Eurostat, the European statistics body, shows that during the first quarter of 2020, the tourism industry as a whole suffered drastically due to the Coronavirus pandemic. In response to the pandemic, all countries implemented travel restrictions, which took a toll on the number of tourists travelling and therefore the number of nights spent in tourism accommodations.

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The government authorities announced the closure of the Malta International Airport on 20 March, and the airport reopened only recently on 1 July. Before the closure of the Airport, the Maltese Islands saw an increase in nights spent in tourism accommodations in the first two months of 2020. January saw an increase of 23.59%, whilst February saw a 47.29% increase.

Yet, the numbers drastically fall when COVID-19 hit Malta, where March saw a decrease of 67.36%, as most tourists would have travelled back to their home country and cut their stay short in Malta.

The Eurostat data highlights that the number of nights spent in tourism accommodation establishments declined across all European Member states, in January- April 2020, when compared to last year. In terms of individual months, the most substantial falls in the number of nights spent in such accommodation establishments were recorded in March (-62%) and April (-95%) compared with the same months of 2019.

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