Malta continues to see more first-time tourists than returning visitors, figures for the last 8 months show.
According to the National Statistics Office report on, ‘Inbound Tourism for August’, there was over 76,000 more first-time tourists to Malta in the 8-month period between January and August of 2019, than a year ago.
This number of first-time visits also far outweighed the number of repeat visits to Malta by over 70,000 (6,729 and 6,213 respectively).
The numbers also show that it has become very characteristic of tourists visiting Malta come on Non-Package holidays. Between January and August 2018 and 2019, the numbers have increased by 145,186 up from the 1,147,334 in 2018 to 1,292,520 in 2019, up by 12.7%
This is compared to the drop in the number of people taking Package holidays, from 618,068 to 556,415 (61,653), down by 10%.
Overall, there was a 4.7% increase in inbound tourists coming to Malta (83,533), from 1,765, 402 in 2018 to 1,848,935 in 2019.
British tourists continue to dominate inbound tourism expenses
According to the NSO figures, British tourists spent over €338,000 (€338,038) in total, visiting Malta between January and August 2019, just under the €348,000 (€348,043) reported in the same period last year. This was also around €30,000 more than in 2017 (€308,606).
This vastly outpaced the spending capacity of the Italians whom spent €171,424 in 2019, just slightly more than in 2018 €171,344 and €163,646 in 2017.
Although the British tourist dominates the top spot for money spent during holidays to Malta, Brexit could have an impact and especially a No-Deal Brexit.
Economist and lecturer, Dr Stephanie Fabri told Newsbook.com.mt that the, ‘British tourism market is one of the most important markets for Malta.’ With the likelihood of the Pound devaluing, she explains that, ‘Britons will find it more expensive to visit Malta.’
In turn, she explained that a No-Deal Brexit could also make holidays to the UK cheaper for Maltese travellers.
The economist adds that with a devalued Pound, there is the possibility that it will be more cost effective for the Maltese and other Europeans, to go on holiday to the UK.
Dr Fabri explains that this is ‘because the pound is worth less. So for example, if the euro to sterling rate is 1:1.10, for every €100 you get £110. If the sterling is devalued to 1:1.20, for every €100 one can buy items worth £120. Thus, goods in the UK for us will become cheaper, but for Britons, the local goods/services will become more expensive’.