The number of Maltese tourists in Gozo has been on a downward trend since 2017, with Maltese residents making 215,272 trips to the two islands last year.
National Statistics Office figures show that Gozo had recorded 236,838 total arrivals from Maltese residents in 2017, with the figure dropping to 227,121 a year late.
With many Gozo holidays taking place over weekends, the vast majority of Maltsee domestic tourists (84%) spent between 1-3 nights last year, with the average length of stay reaching 2.6 nights.
Domestic tourist nights in Gozo totalled 571,500 in 2019, a 6.3% drop when compared to 2018 and down from 662,921 tourist nights in 2017. Maltese tourist expenditure in Gozo decreased accordingly, from €40 million in 2017 to €35.9 million last year.
Rented accommodation accounted for around 72.4% of nights spent by Malta residents in Gozo, but only 21.7% opted for collective accommodation such as hotels, with the rest choosing to stay in holiday rentals.
Maltese tourists still account for the majority of tourists in Gozo, accounting for 54.3% of the total last year. But since their Gozo holidays tend to be considerably shorter than those of foreign tourists, Maltese tourists only accounted for 33.5% of all tourist nights spent.
The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic remains to be seen. Non-essential travel to Gozo had been restricted at the height of the pandemic in Malta, but on the other hand, Gozo was the only travel destination for Malta residents between the easing of this restriction in May and the reopening of the airport earlier this month.
Gozitan tourism to Malta on the rise
The NSO also collected statistics on Gozo residents who travelled to Malta as domestic tourism, and as may be expected, its extent largely reflects the relative size of Gozo’s population.
However, the number of Gozitan tourists in Malta actually increased last year, from 18,356 in 2018 to 21,965. Though the number of tourists had been higher in 2017 – at 23,924 – the number of nights spent in 2019 was slightly higher, reaching 46,710 compared to 45,563 in 2017 and 40,249 the following year.
Gozitan tourists spent €3.45 million in Malta last year, up from €2.58m in 2018.
In contrast to Maltese tourists in Gozo, Gozitan tourists were more likely to use non-rented accommodation, which accounted for 46.3% of all nights spent by them in Malta. They were also far more likely to use hotels and other forms of collective accommodation (44.7%), with just 9% using other rentals.