Aircraft loading passengers against a sunrise

The airline seat capacity to and from several countries is higher than that recorded prior to the pandemic, said Minister for Tourism Clayton Bartolo, who highlighted that the tourism recovery is progressing well.

Replying to a parliamentary question on Monday, the Minister said that countries to and from which the seat capacity is currently above the pre-pandemic peak include Poland, France, Hungary, Romania, Croatia and Bulgaria.

Other countries, such as Italy, Denmark, Austria and Switzerland are on par with what was recorded before the pandemic.

The Minister said: “When one then sees the individual source markets, we see encouraging figures with certain countries such as Austria, France and Poland already exceeding the level of tourists who came in 2019.”

The number of tourists from Austria who visited Malta in 2022 already stands marginally higher than those who came in 2019, at 101 per cent.

Tourist numbers arriving from France are at 106 per cent of their 2019 levels, while those from Poland have registered a particularly strong recovery, standing at 131 per cent of 2019 figures.

Additionally, Minister Bartolo continued, the trend for the coming winter seems positive, where the latest statistics available show that the airline seat capacity is at 89 per cent of the pre-pandemic levels.

In a separate response, the Minister noted that the 1.756 million tourists who came to Malta between January and September of this year are equivalent to 82 per cent of the volume that was reached in the respective period in the record year of 2019.

This year, he said, “Malta showed strong signs of recovery after the two years of challenges that were characterised by major restrictions in the field of travel.”

He added that these tourists generated 12.7 million nights and an expenditure of €1.5 billion, which is almost 86 per cent of the expenditure during 2019.

“The significance of these results is greater when you consider that the first quarter of this year the industry had a difficult start due to the move of the Omicron variant,” said Minister Bartolo.

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