Malta’s total net revenue from the English language teaching (ELT) sector increased by 4.9 per cent in 2017, with the overall profitability of the industry increasing as well, according to the latest FELTOM survey carried out by Deloitte.
However, FELTOM CEO James Perry has expressed concern that other destinations are registering growth from certain countries while Malta has only seen a minimal increase.
“While the added arrival numbers show an increase in profitability for the schools, in reality, the total revenue per student week is showing a decrease which is not a long-term sustainable solution,” FELTOM CEO James Perry was quoted as saying by international education website The PIE.
“Competitive countries are registering an increase from the Asian and South American communities. While Malta has seen a slight increase over the years, there is more potential for growth and this is what FELTOM is trying to explore.”
Deloitte’s survey estimates that EFL students make up approximately 10.4 per cent of total tourist guest nights and 7.6 per cent of total tourist expenditure, spending about €148m in 2017.
But the report also highlighted that for language centres the average turnover per student week, net of agency commission, fell by 1.7 per cent, with the tuition revenue by student week losing almost 6 percentage points – primarily as a result of increased discounting.
At the same time, agency commission reached an estimated 30 per cent of the total tuition revenue, in line with an increasing shift towards tour operator bookings at the expense of direct bookings.
However, the outlook is positive. Malta has registered an increase in number of arrivals in 2017, with student numbers increasing by 13.6 per cent from 2016, according the NSO. And Mr Perry predicts that 2018 is promising an even higher increase in arrivals, with changes to Malta’s student visa policy that will streamline the process for non-EU students and include the right to work.