Maltese residents took a total of 706,797 trips abroad last year, representing an increase of 6% over 2018, according to the National Statistics Office.
The average length of their overseas trips was slightly shorter – 6.5 nights, compared to 6.7 in 2018 and 6.9 in 2017 – but the number of nights spent overseas by Maltese residents nevertheless increased by 2.9%, surpassing 4.6 million nights in total.
Collectively, the trips are estimated to have cost €606.2 million, 7.6% more than the €563.2 million spent the previous year, with package holidays accounted for €73.9 million. As for non-package holidays, Maltese outbound tourists spent €112.6 million on air and sea fares and €109.8 million on accommodation.
60% of trips were made for holiday purposes, with 22% travelling to visit relatives and friends. 12.7% travelled for work reasons, whereas the remaining 4.6% travelled for other purposes, including education and health.
As is typically the case, Italy and the UK were, by a considerable margin, the most popular destinations, accounting for 214,152 and 126,276 trips respectively. Spain was a distant third choice with 44,916 trips, followed by Germany (37,721) and France (28,061).
A total of 610,811 trips were made to EU countries. However, the number of non-EU trips increased sharply when compared to 2018, with the 95,986 trips that took place representing a 21.7% increase.
The vast majority – 677,004 – travelled by air, almost equally divided between low-cost airlines (341,762) and other airlines (335,242). Men accounted for 55% of all trips.