2,286,597 tourists arrived in Malta in 2022, spending a total of 16,608,131 nights between them. This is more than 40 per cent the number of tourists Malta received in 2020 and 2021 combined, and almost double the nights spent.
Minister for Tourism, Clayton Bartolo stressed “these results symbolise the deep resilience of the local hospitality sector in challenging times.” He stated that the next step is to build a tourism sector that builds on sustainability.
The large number of tourists contributed almost €2 billion in the Maltese economy. On average, tourists spent around €880 each, slightly down compared to 2021 (€899) but well above 2019 (€807).
More than half of tourists arrived from just four countries: The UK, Italy, France and Germany. Italy is an outlier, as tourists from that country spent far less money compared to almost anywhere else, almost 30 per cent below average.
Compared to 2019 the number of tourists from France, Austria, Italy and Poland was higher in 2022. Poland especially, which saw the number of arrivals from that country climb from 104,228 in 2019 to 143,229 in 2022.
While this is a bump of almost 40 per cent compared to 2019, tourists from Poland are among the lowest spenders. Spending for Polish tourists registered at €691 per capita.
It appears that Malta is on track to recover to pre-pandemic levels of tourism in 2023, since 2022 still had COVID-19 related travel restrictions retraining travel, however for some this may still not be enough.
A carrying capacity exercise carried out in 2022 by the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association (MHRA) in collaboration with Deloitte, showed that Malta will need to attract 4.7 million tourists by 2027, with each staying just below seven nights, to prevent an oversupply of accomodation becoming a threat.
This means Malta needs to receive almost 2 million more tourists than it did in 2019, which was a record year for the country when 2.75 million tourists arrived.
The Government’s tourism plan for 2021 – 2030 is focused on attracting quality tourism, however thus far, industry representatives have been sceptical on whether enough is being done to achieve quality tourism.
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