Inbound tourists for the first five months of the year were estimated at 459,780, down by 4 per cent over 2011. In absolute terms, this change was mostly attributable to a decrease in holiday visits, mainly from the British, Belgian, Italian and French markets. On the other hand, the German market recorded an upward shift of 13 per cent when compared to last year’s levels. 86 per cent of all inbound trips were undertaken by tourists coming from EU Member States.
During the period under review, the majority of inbound tourists opted for non-package travel; albeit an increase in package trips was registered. Decreases were observed in both first-time visitors and repeat tourists, equivalent to 3 and 7 per cent respectively. On a gender basis, male tourists exceeded females, accounting for 53 per cent of the total. The largest proportion of inbound tourists were between 45 and 64 years of age.
Total nights spent during this period went marginally down (1 per cent), reaching almost 3.5 million nights. The average length of stay for this period stood at 7.6 nights, up by 0.4 of a night over 2011. In absolute terms, the majority of guest nights were spent in collective accommodation establishments. However, in percentage terms, an increase was noted in the number of nights spent in private accommodation.
However, total tourist expenditure remained almost at par with last year's level, reaching €355.9 million, while the average spend increased to €774 per capita. This resulted in an increase of 5 per cent over last year. Tourstat data for May estimates inbound tourists at 133,659, an increase of 2.5 per cent over last year. Total nights spent during the corresponding period rose by 12.1 per cent, bringing the average length of stay to 7.5
During the month under review, 114,687 tourist trips were carried out for holiday purposes, while a further 10,881 travelled on business. Holidaymakers comprised the absolute majority of inbound tourists, and registered an increase of 7 per cent. However, a notable decrease was observed among those travelling for business purposes. In line with previous months, 87 per cent of inbound tourists came from EU Member States and in particular from the euro area.
The main market for inbound tourists remained the UK, with a share equivalent to 30 per cent of the total. Second in line is the Italian market, with a share of 12 per cent. The British market registered a decrease of 4 per cent, while Germany and Italy experienced increases of 14 and 19 per cent, respectively.
During May, inbound tourists spent a total of over 1 million nights in Malta, up by 12 per cent when compared to 2011. In absolute terms, the majority of guest nights were spent in collective accommodation establishments and in particular in hotel accommodation. Nonetheless, a substantial increase of 30 per cent in the use of private accommodation was recorded.
During the reference month, total expenditure was estimated at €109.7 million, a growth of 3 per cent over last year. Expenditure on package travel advanced by 12 per cent and stood at €41.5 million, while other expenditure increased by 5 per cent. In contrast, expenditures incurred by non-package travellers experienced a drop.