Malta Day celebrates record growth from Ireland
On the occasion of Malta Day, H.E. Giovanni Buttigieg (Maltese Ambassador to Ireland) hosted a celebratory event attended by the entire Diplomatic Corps in the Herbert Park Hotel. Tolene van der Merwe (Director UK & Ireland Malta Tourism Authority) flew over specially and beforehand met with Travelbiz Features Editor Declan Mescall.
Tolene told Declan visitors to Malta from Ireland increased by 32% January to September 2023 compared to the same period last year. There have been 37,027 visitors to Malta from Ireland compared with 27,895 Jan-Sept 2022 resulting in a 30% increase in expenditure by Irish tourists in Malta. On average the length of stay for visitors is 6.9 nights and interestingly 78% of tourists were first time visitors and 38% were aged 25-44, with 28% 45-64, 24% were 0-24 while nearly 9% were over 65 years.
The main purpose for visiting Malta is for a holiday with 91.4% travelling for holidays and 4.6% for business. 75 % of bookings have been non-package tourists, with 25% package.
Speaking about the figures, Tolene said “ It is great to see such a big increase in visitor numbers from Ireland in 2023 compared to 2022. This continues the positive trend that shows we are nearly back at the pre-pandemic levels of visitors.”
Next year, in addition to flights from Dublin, from mid-March Shannon- Malta flights will also operate to help cater for demand. Tolene is keen to point out the great value on offer in Malta, especially in the out of season months of March to June and September to November with temperatures in November usually around 17/18 degrees.
With six Michelin Star restaurants Malta has established itself as a gastronomy destination. Activity attractions in Malta include adventure sports, scuba diving, swimming, snorkelling and of course walking and hiking. With 7,000 years of history Malta is steeped in arts, culture and heritage and with 3,000 hours of sunshine per year Tolene says “Explore More in Malta”.