The Malta Tourism Authority is aiming to draw 1.8 million tourists to Malta this year as the industry recovers from the blow caused by COVID-19, the authority’s deputy CEO, Carlo Micallef has said.

That figure would be equivalent to tourist arrivals in 2015.

Earlier this month, Alan Borg, the CEO of Malta International Airport, had said that measures to counter the pandemic had ‘reversed’ Mata’s tourism industry back to 2015.

As an industry, I think our target for year end is to achieve just below two million tourists, which essentially means we’ve doubled what we had last year. But it also means we’re approximately 30 to 35 per cent below 2019 numbers. Our peers are doing much better. Greece is actually above its 2019 numbers – Portugal, Spain, Croatia, Cyprus, they’re all four or five per cent below 2019 numbers," Borg said. 

Micallef made his comments to TVM at a tourism fair in Hungary. He underlined MTA efforts to attract more tourists from Eastern Europe, particularly Poland, a source market which, he said, had continued to grow. It is now the fifth-biggest market for tourism in Malta. A Malta tourism office will open in Warsaw next month. 

MIA said earlier on Monday that 513,979 passengers travelled through Malta Airport in April, marking a recovery of 78.7 per cent of pre-pandemic passenger numbers.

Italy continued to top the leaderboard with 114,707 passenger movements, followed by the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Poland.

It observed, however, that recent data for the first quarter of the year showed that Malta’s recovery still lagged that of its Mediterranean competitors. While Malta has eased many of its travel restrictions in recent weeks making the island a more attractive destination, survey results published by the European Travel Commission in April 2022 showed that 56% of Europeans who were planning to travel in summer had already chosen their destination. 

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