Inbound tourists decrease by 56.6% in March 2020

NSO stated that these statistics should be interpreted in the context of COVID-19 developments

airport-MIA-empty-no-people-coronavirus-covid-19
Miguela Xuereb

Total inbound visitors for March 2020 were estimated at 75,157. This is a decrease of 56.5% when compared to the corresponding month in 2019.

According to statistics published by the NSO, the National Statistics Office, during March, a total of 64,834 inbound tourist trips were undertaken for holiday purposes while a further 5,360 were made for business purposes.

The NSO stated that these statistics should be interpreted in context to the unprecedented developments and restrictions related to COVID-19.

During the COVID-19 developments, the following tourism-related sequence of events took place, the information was provided to NSO by Malta Tourism Authority, Virtu Ferries and Transport Malta;

  • 28th February: Passengers flying in from Italy, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Iran and South Korea, from 26 February onwards were requested to stay in quarantine for 14 days upon arrival
  • 8th March: Flights from/to Milan were suspended
  • 10th March: Flights from/to Italy were suspended
  • 10th March: Last cruise liner call
  • 11th March: Flights from/to France, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, were suspended
  • 11th March: Passengers flying in from France, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, were requested to stay in quarantine for 14 days upon arrival
  • 13th March: All passengers flying in from all destinations were requested to stay in quarantine for 14 days upon arrival
  • 18th March: Last Virtu’ Ferries service for passengers between Malta and Sicily was operated
  • 21st March: All flights from/to all destinations were suspended

Most inbound tourists were aged between 25 and 44 years followed by those within the 45-64 age bracket.

Inbound tourists coming from the United Kingdom remained the most popular, with a share of 31.2 per cent of the total inbound tourists.

Total nights spent went down by 60.2% when compared to March 2019, amounting to 442,018 nights. The largest share of guest nights, 59.2%, was spent in collective accommodation establishments

Total tourist expenditure was estimated at €43.6 million. This is a decrease of 62.6% over the corresponding month in 2019.

According to the data published inbound tourist trips for the first quarter of 2020 amounted to 370,216, a decrease of 13.1% over the same period in 2019.

The total tourism expenditure was estimated at €224.6 million, 17.5% less than that recorded during the same period last year.

Total expenditure per capita stood at €607 which means a decrease of 5.2% when compared to the first quarter of 2019.

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