‘Substantial’ rise in cruise passengers to Gozo during 2012

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'Substantial' rise in cruise passengers to Gozo during 2012Cruise passengers in December 2012 stood at 18,156, up by 15.4 per cent over 2011. Total cruise passenger traffic last year advanced by 9.4 per cent over 2011, and reached 608,786 passengers, the National Statistics Office said today.

Cruise passenger traffic for December advanced by 15.4 per cent over 2011, to 18,156. An increase of 14.6 per cent was noted in the number of transit passengers, while passenger embarkations and landings increased significantly over 2011.

Passengers visiting Gozo for January to December totalled 3,546, substantially higher than the 1,021 in 2011.

The majority of cruise passengers who visited the islands in December were between 60 and 79 years of age, and amounted to 44 per cent of total passengers. Passengers below 19 years of age decreased by 39 per cent, while there was an increase in passengers aged 80 and over.

The largest number of passengers came from EU countries and increased by 22.7 per cent over December 2011. The Italian market dropped by 15.8 per cent, while French passengers were down by 24.4 per cent.

On the other hand, the British market recorded a substantial increase. The majority of Non-EU passengers came from the United States and amounted to 1,309.

Cruise passengers for 2012 amounted to 608,786, an increase of 9.4 per cent over 2011. Of these, 13,436 spent one night on board vessels berthed in Grand Harbour. The vast majority of visitors (80 per cent) came from EU Member States – 32 per cent from Germany which was the largest market for 2012, followed by Italy, with a market share of 20 per cent of EU nationals. The total number of passengers from Non-EU countries amounted to 120,469, of whom 32 per cent came from the United States.

Male passengers amounted to 295,804 while females counted 312,982. There were 322 cruise liner calls last year, with an average of 1,891 passengers per vessel.

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