Estimated 115,573 residents travelled overseas in the first quarter of 2020

19th May 2020

By the end of the first quarter, the COVID-19 pandemic hit and travel restrictions started to be imposed across Europe.

Total outbound tourists for the first quarter in 2020 were estimated at 115,573, a decrease of 21.3 per cent over the corresponding quarter of 2019. Outbound Tourism: Q1/2020

January-March 2020

During the quarter under review, a total of 66,416 outbound tourist trips were undertaken for holiday purposes, while a further 27,761 were made for visiting friends and relatives. Italy and the United Kingdom remained the most popular destinations, with a joint share of 49.6 per cent of total tourist trips.

Total nights spent by outbound tourists decreased by 19.1 per cent, amounting to 672,937 nights. In absolute terms, the majority of guest nights (52.0 per cent) were spent in rented accommodation establishments.

Total estimated expenditure by outbound tourists between January and March decreased by 27.9 per cent over the same quarter of 2019, and stood at €81.3 million, equivalent to an average €704 per person.

In addition total outbound air travel for the period under review dropped by 21 per cent when comparing the first quarter of 2020 with the same period last year.

Statistics in this News Release should be interpreted in context to the unprecedented developments and restrictions related to COVID-19.

Due to the COVID-19 situation the following tourism-related sequence of events happened:

28th February – Passengers fl ying in from Italy, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Iran and South Korea, from 26 February onwards were requested to stay in quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

8th March – Flights from/to Milan were suspended

10th March – Flights from/to Italy were suspended

11th March – Flights from/to France, Switzerland, Germany and Spain were suspended.

11th March – Passengers flying in from France, Switzerland, Germany and Spain were requested to stay in quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

13th March – All passengers flying in from all destinations were requested to stay in quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

18TH March – Last Virtu’ Ferries service for passengers between Malta and Sicily was operated.

21st March – All flights from/to all destinations were suspended


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Estimated 115,573 residents travelled overseas in the first quarter of 2020