During 2023’s fourth quarter passenger traffic amounted to 169,036, an increase of 63.2 per cent over the same quarter of 2022.

The figures were published by the National Statistics Office (NSO) on Thursday (today).

In total, during the quarter there were 82 cruise liner calls, an increase of 21 when compared to the corresponding quarter of the previous year.

Transit passengers accounted for the majority of total traffic, reaching 162,230 passengers (96 per cent).

On average, every vessel that berthed in Malta carried 2,061 passengers, 364 more than those in 2022.

Approximately 51.8 per cent of total traffic consisted of passengers from EU member states. The major markets were Italy, representing 19.7 per cent of the overall passengers and Germany, with 9.9 per cent.

Non-EU countries contributed a total of 81,486 passengers, with 20.7 per cent of the passengers coming from the United Kingdom and 40.4 per cent from the United States.

The majority of the passengers were female (53.6 per cent) and the largest share of passengers fell within the 60-79 age bracket (35.4 per cent). This was followed by the 40-59 age bracket, with 33.5 per cent forming part of the age group.

2023 in figures

In total, during 2023, cruise passengers stood at 814,603, 56.7 per cent of which came from EU member states.

Overall, female passengers outnumbered their male counterparts again with 53.4 per cent or 434,910 of female passengers registered throughout the year.

During the 12-month period, most passengers were between 40 and 59 years old, totalling 285,645 (35.1 per cent). These were followed by passengers aged 60-79, reaching 224,558 (27.6 per cent).

The NSO also added that in 2023 there were 309 cruise liner calls, with an average of 2,636 passengers per vessel, compared to 283 calls and an average of 1,730 passengers per vessel in the comparative period of 2022.

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