Malta had a record-breaking year in tourism, recording a total of 2.27 million visitors during 2017. This represents an increase of 15.7% over the same period in 2016. Total nights spent by inbound tourists went up by 10.3%, surpassing 16.5 million nights. Total tourism expenditure surpassed €1.9 billion, 13.9% higher than that recorded for 2016.Total expenditure per capita stood at €856, a decrease of 1.5% when compared to 2016.
The Malta Tourism Authority said 2017 was not merely a stand-alone year of tourism growth but “the culmination of consecutive years of record growth for tourism to Malta, Gozo and Comino which have seen tourism rise from less than 1.2 million in 2009 to around 2.3 million last year.”
“This type of performance is unprecedented in a number of ways. It has seen previously static performances climb to new highs year after year and it has also seen Malta over-perform global, European and Mediterranean average growth rates year after year. Formerly a destination which, at best, hoped to emulate the success of its competitors, Malta has now changed into one which outperforms average results and grows at rates higher than most of its competitors,” MTA said.
Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi said Malta’s success in sustaining such a positive tourism performance was strongly attributable to the strong expansion in its air connectivity. During 2017, no fewer than 8 new airline routes from 7 countries commenced operations thus adding to the already extensive network linking Malta with its source markets.
The Minister said that indications for 2018 are positive and point to continued successes on the basis of factors including the introduction of new major events, increase in direct routes to Malta, and increased seat capacity.