Heathrow Airport Departures

March 2023 saw even more tourist arrivals than that of 2019, marking the first month since pandemic restrictions were lifted that any single month beat the pre-COVID record.

More tourists visited Malta during March of this year than in any other March of any other year, including the record-breaking 2019.

In a sure sign of the kind of tourism season operators can expect, the record-breaking number of tourist arrivals show Malta’s persistent popularity among holiday-makers.

Data released by the National Statistics Office (NSO) shows that total inbound tourists for March were estimated at 174,382, surpassing the 172,971 figure registered in March 2019.

Total nights spent amounted to 1,057,589, and total expenditure exceeded €126.3 million.

The largest share of guest nights (85.4 per cent) was spent in rented accommodation establishments.

March rounded off an extremely successful first quarter for Malta’s tourism sector, with the NSO’s data corroborating that released by Malta International Airport (MIA).

Last month, MIA stated that the first three months of 2023 were its busiest ever.

NSO data confirms this. Every month of the current year has so far exceeded the tourist arrival figures registered in 2019, the last full pre-pandemic year.

However, January and February of 2023 did not exceed the arrivals registered in those same months in 2020.

March 2020 was disrupted by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the closure of borders, bringing an untimely end to what was shaping up to be another record-breaking year.

Thus, while 2023 is well on track to be better, in terms of tourist arrivals, than 2019 – it does not seem to be as good as 2020 could have been.

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