Tourist arrivals down by 66% in August – NSO

Miguela Xuereb

Tourist arrivals dropped by 66.2% in August when compared to the corresponding month in the previous year, according to figures published by the National Statistics Office (NSO) on Wednesday.

The total inbound visitors for August were estimated at 114,458, a decrease of 66.2% when compared to the corresponding month in 2019. The total tourist expenditure was estimated at €94.6 million, a decrease of 71.3 per cent over the corresponding month in 2019.

According to the figures published by the NSO, a total of 107,908 inbound tourist trips were undertaken for holiday purposes, while a further 2,318 were made for business purposes.

42.6% of inbound tourists were aged between 25 and 44 years, followed by tourists falling in the 0-24 age bracket with 36.4%.

Tourists mainly arrived from the United Kingdom with 21.7% of the total inbound tourists.

The figures showed that the total nights spent went down by 62.6%, surpassing one million nights when compared to August 2019.

40.5% of inbound tourists spent their nights in collective accommodation establishments.

Commercial flights resumed in July, after they were grounded in March due to the coronavirus outbreak in attempt to bring the pandemic under control. However travel resumed between countries deemed safe with Malta introducing an amber list for countries from which travelers would be required to show a swab test upon arrival.

The NSO reminded that the following sequence of tourism-related events took place which has affected travel:

  • 28.02: 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
  • 8.03: Flights from/to Milan were suspended
  • 10.03: Flights from/to Italy were suspended
  • 10.03: Last cruise liner call
  • 11.03: Flights from/to France, Switzerland, Germany, Spain were requested to stay in quarantine for 14 days upon arrival
  • 13.03: All passengers flying in from all destinations were requested to stay in quarantine for 14 days upon arrival
  • 18.03: Last Virtù Ferries service for passengers between Malta and Sicily was operated.
  • 21.03: All flights from/to all destinations were suspended
  • 1.07: Re-opening of Malta International Airport. The first group of destinations that reopened for travel included: Germany, Austria, Italy, France, Spain, Poland, Cyprus, Switzerland, Iceland, Slovakia, Norway, Denmark, Hungary, Finland, Ireland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Luxembourg, Czech Republic, Greece and Croatia
  • 15.07: Restrictions on all other flight destinations were lifted
  • 21.08: First cruise liner call since March 2020.

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Have you travelled since the reopening of the airport?

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