A total of 174,225 tourists came to Malta in October, 13.2 per cent more than in the same month last year, according to Tourstat data published by the National Statistics Office.

Total nights spent here went up by 6.1 per cent to almost 1.3 million.

Excluding the 919 passengers who stayed overnight on board a berthed cruise vessel, 173,306 were departing tourists - an increase of 14 per cent when compared to 2012 levels.

The number of tourists visiting Malta for holiday purposes rose by 13 per cent to 147,825, while business tourists increased by 18 per cent to 15,442. First-time visitors advanced by 21 per cent.

Inbound tourism from EU states rose by 10 per cent, comprising 82 per cent of departing tourists. Non-EU tourists went up by 39 per cent to 31,298.

The UK remained Malta’s main tourism market, with a share of 30 per cent, despite a drop of five per cent. The German market came second, with 11 per cent. Upward shifts of 37 and 11 per cent were also registered in the French and Italian markets, respectively.

Total nights spent during October were estimated at 1.3 million. The average length of stay stood at 7.4 nights, down by 0.5 of a night when compared to October last year.

Total expenditure of departing tourists was estimated at €156 million, a growth of 13 per cent over the corresponding month in 2012.

The total number of departing tourists who visited Malta during the first 10 months was estimated at 1.4 million, up by nine per cent over the comparable period in 2012. The majority were holidaymakers, predominantly from the European Union.

However, an increase of 22 per cent was registered in the number of tourists from non-EU countries. In absolute terms, the main origin of inbound tourists remained the British market, but a significant increase was recorded in the Libyan, Austrian, Russian, Italian and Irish markets. On the other hand, the Spanish market recorded a downward shift of 11 per cent when compared to last year.

Non-package travel was slightly higher than package travel, with an estimated 53 per cent of the total. But tourists opting for package travel advanced by eight per cent when compared to 2012 levels. Total nights spent during the period under review were estimated at 11.6 million - an increase of eight per cent over last year. The average length of stay stood at 8.2 nights, at par with last year.

During the same period, total tourist expenditure was estimated at €1.3 billion, up by nine per cent when compared to last year. Increases were recorded throughout all expenditure categories. The total per capita expenditure stood at €927.

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