Hotels left practically empty during spring, NSO confirms

Miguela Xuereb

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic is made starkly evident as the National Statistics Office publishes figures concerning hotels and other collective accommodation between April and June, at a time when regular flights had stopped.

When compared to the same period in 2019, the number of guests fell by 97% to 17,151, while the total number of nights spent fell by 97.7% to 64,161. Though summer is traditionally peak season, holiday bookings in spring last year had almost reached peak levels.

Since only domestic tourism could take place, though ferry travel was restricted until May, Gozo outperformed Malta, though the total guests and nights spent in Gozitan hotels nevertheless decreased by 87.7% and 90.2% respectively.

The net use of bed places in collective accommodation establishments stood at just 6.5%, down by 67.1 percentage points when compared to the second quarter of 2019.

The total number of guests in the first half of 2020 thus amounts to 321,723, a decrease of 66% when compared to the first half of 2019. When compared to the previous year, tourism in January and February was significantly higher, but things ultimately ground to a halt in March.