Updated 2.50pm - Added PM comments

Malta received nearly two million tourists last year, 10.2% more than in 2015, according to the National Statistics Office.

The NSO said they spent a total of almost 15 million nights in Malta, 5.7% more than in 2015 and that they spent an estimated €1.71 billion, 4.3% more than in 2015. But total expenditure per capita stood at €869, a drop of 5.4% when compared to 2015.

Total visitors for December were estimated at 96,395, an increase of 32.8% when compared to the same month in 2015.

A total 80,443 trips were carried out for holiday purposes, 8,802 for business. Tourists from EU states increased by 34.5% to 82,518 when compared to the same month in 2015.

The majority were aged between 25 and 44.

Total nights spent went up by 10.3% when compared to December 2015, amounting to 674,521 nights. Tourist nights in private accommodation increased by 9.8% when compared to December 2015. Total tourist expenditure was estimated at €62.3 million, an increase of 16% over the same month in 2015.

Tourists up by half a million in four years - PM

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat this morning noted that in the first four years of this legislature tourism arrivals increased by 500,000.

This is the same increase registered over a 20-year period between 1992 and 2012, Dr Muscat said when addressing a Malta Tourism Authority conference which focused on last year’s result. He added that this growth did not happen by chance but was the result of hard work by stakeholders, innovative ideas, and government direction.

Touching on the situation of Air Malta, Dr Muscat said that the Alitalia deal was called off as it was “not right” for Malta.

“A deal will only be signed if it is favourable to our country,” he said.
While remarking that no options were being excluded, he said that the first priority was to “get our house in order”. Secondly, he insisted that regardless of the model being considered, the deal has to be based on a strategic element.

Looking ahead he said works on the new ITS campus in Smart City was due to start. “This is not about closing the ST Georges Bay facility and opening a new one in Smart City. This is about going two or three notches up in terms of standards.”

The Prime Minister added that the new campus had the potential be a game-changer for the entire tourism industry, he said.

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