Over 1.3 m tourists visited Malta and Gozo in 2010

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Over 1.3 m tourists visited Malta and Gozo in 200Inbound tourists in 2010 surpassed the 1.3 million mark, an increase of 13 per cent over 2009 and an all-time high for the Maltese Islands. Increases were recorded in both the number of repeat tourists and in the number of first-time visitors. On the other hand, increases were noted in the number of both package and non-package trips. Package trips made up 44 per cent of the total, while the remaining 56 per cent were non-package trips. The average length of stay for 2010 stood at 8.3 nights, marginally down compared to 2009.

Tourstat data for December showed that inbound tourists increased by 7.5 per cent when compared with 2009. Similarly total nights spent during the same period increased by 7.8 per cent.

Inbound tourists were estimated at 53,735, most of whom were holidaymakers, albeit a notable increase observed in those travelling for business purposes. Overall, first-time visitors accounted for 57 per cent of inbound tourists, an increase of 15 per cent. Most tourists came from EU Member States, mainly from the UK and Italy, while a substantial increase was registered in the French market. Results indicate that the largest share of tourists visiting Malta stayed for a period of at least 7 nights, however an increase of 21 per cent was registered for short stays of up to 3 nights.

Total nights spent during December were estimated at 428,030, up by 8 per cent when compared to 2009. Increases were recorded in both private an collective accommodation. Overall, 65 per cent of total nights were spent in collective accommodation establishments, with hotel guest nights at 58 per cent of the total. The average length of stay stood at 8.0 nights, up by 0.1 of a night over 2009.

Total expenditure during December was estimated at €37.1 million. This estimate was 15 per cent higher than that for 2009, with increases noted in all expenditure categories, other than air or sea fares. Expenditure in this category decreased by 8 per cent.

For 2010, on a gender basis male tourists exceeded females, and accounted for 52 per cent of total tourist trips. The majority of tourists fell within the 45-64 age bracket, narrowly followed by the 25-44 age category. A substantial increase was noted at both ends of the age spectrum, namely the 0-24 and the 65+ age groups.

Total nights spent last year increased by 12 per cent, reaching a total of over 11 million. The majority of guest nights were spent in collective accommodation establishments, where an increase of 12 per cent was recorded over 2009. Total nights spent in private accommodation advanced by 11 per cent.

Total tourist expenditure last year was estimated at €1.1 billion, an increase of 22 per cent over 2009 levels. Increases were recorded throughout all expenditure categories, while the largest increase was noted in the other expenditure category. This contributed to an increase in per capita expenditure of 8 per cent, which reached €847.

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