Presenting the performance of the tourism industry between January and March 2012 the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association (MHRA) President Tony Zahra said on Wednesday morning he said tourism operators have lost €10 million over the last five years.
Zahra said that in the first three months of this year the number of tourists dropped by 10.9% over 2011 because of the reduction by 50,000 in seat capacity of airlines flying to Malta.
He said that seat capacity for April to October was the same as last year and the load factor for April and May surpassed that of 2011 with the industry making up lost ground.
Zahra said that there was an 8% drop in guest nights over last year but an increase of 11.4% over 2010 and a drop of 2.5% in tourist expenditure compared to the same period last year.
Occupancy rates at five star hotels was 46.9% (51% in 2011) 59.5% in four star hotels (64.1% in 2011) and 46.6% in 3-star hotels (50.7% in 2011).
Zahra appealed to tourism operators not to lower their rates unnecessarily as this would make their business unsustainable.