The NSO reported that inbound tourist reached 2.6 million in 2018, registering an increase of 14.3% over the same period of the previous year. Total nights spent by inbound tourists also increased by 12.5 per cent, reaching nearly 18.6 million nights. Total tourism expenditure was estimated at €2.1 billion, 8.0 per cent higher than that recorded for 2017.
Most of these tourists travelled to Malta via air. Only 47,005 tourists came to Malta in 2018 by sea, whilst the number of overnight cruise passengers stood at 35,229.
Statistics show that most tourists came from the European Market, with United Kingdom and Italy being on the top of the list. The Malta Tourism Authority's main aim for 2020 is to target tourists coming from the United States, which should become one of Malta’s top ten markets.
At a press conference held in Cospicua, Minister for Tourism Konrad Mizzi affirmed that Malta aims to "become the best destination in the Mediterranean," also adding that the island had become the least seasonal destination in the Mediterranean in 2018, welcoming tourists throughout the year.