Malta and its fellow Mediterranean island, Cyprus, seem to have benefited from spurring cruise line traffic, with tourist increases of 18 per cent and 15 per cent respectively, over the same period in 2017, according to the European Travel Commission’s quarterly report.
“Some of this growth has seemingly been driven by an increase in cruise traffic. But similarly, strong growth in both arrivals and overnights suggests that this is not the full story. Both destinations are likely benefitting from concerted efforts to broaden the shoulders of the tourism season."
"Both have reported sizeable growth from a range of source markets, including many large and more mature European source markets. In addition, Malta may be enjoying some additional benefit via its capital city of Valletta being a designated European Capital of Culture for 2018,” the report observed.
The report also noted that Malta, along with Cyprus, Croatia and Greece, saw the largest increases in German arrivals ahead of the summer peak season.
A third of the European destinations surveyed enjoyed double-digit expansion to date. Europe remains the leading destination worldwide, despite increased competition, and current forecast for 2018 suggests a moderate expansion trending around 3-4 per cent.
Europe saw a 7 per cent growth in international tourist arrivals the second quarter of 2018 over the same period last year, and accounts for 50 per cent of the share of tourist arrivals worldwide.