Plane interior - tourism

Residents of Malta went abroad for holidays exactly half as much between January and June 2021 when compared to the same period in 2020.

The total number of outbound tourists in the first half of the year stood at 57,864, compared to 115,573 in the first half of 2020. It must be noted, however, that Malta banned all commercial travel between 13th March 2020 and 1st July 2020.

A National Statistics Office report found that despite the decrease in outbound tourism, those residents who did travel did so for a longer duration of time, with total nights having gone up by 23.5 per cent to total 831,118 when comparing to the first half of 2020.

This indicates that with rapidly changing travel restrictions and national COVID restrictions, travellers have moved away from more frequent, shorter trips in favour of longer stays.

In addition, total estimated outlay by resident tourists stood at €52.6 million, 35.3 per cent lower than that recorded for the same period in 2020.

April to June 2021

During the quarter under review, a total of 19,215 outbound tourist trips were undertaken for visiting friends and relatives, followed by 9,740 trips for holiday purposes.

Most outbound tourists were aged between 25 and 44 years (55.6 per cent), followed by those within the 45-64 age bracket (24.1 per cent). This lends itself to observed trends whereby it has been argued that younger people are more keen to explore the uncertainty of travel during COVID.

Italy remained the most popular destination, with a share of 37.8 per cent of total tourist trips.

The largest share of guest nights (79.6 per cent) was spent in non-rented accommodation establishments.

The average length of stay of total outbound tourists between April and June stood at 13.3 nights. When compared to the same period in 2019, before COVID wreaked havoc on the world, the average duration of visit for Malta’s outbound travellers was 6.3 nights, further underscoring the general trend where people are travelling less frequently but for longer.

Total expenditure by outbound tourists between April and June reached €34.5 million, equivalent to an average €886 per person.

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