The use of holiday furnished homes by Maltese residents travelling abroad, such as those booked through holiday-let websites Airbnb and Booking.com, have shot up in the first nine months of 2019 when compared with 2018.
A press release issued by the National Statistics Office (NSO) on outbound tourism shows an increase in the use of ‘other rented’ accommodation by Maltese residents travelling abroad of 34.9 per cent when comparing January to September 2019 with the same period in 2018.
The NSO categorises rented accommodation into ‘collective’ and ‘other rented’. Collective accommodation refers to the standard hotels, hostels, bed and breakfasts, guest houses and holiday complexes. Other rented accommodation refers to holiday furnished homes such as flats, villas and farmhouses, host families, student dormitories and rented yachts.
Between January and September 2019, the number of outbound tourists choosing the standard rented accommodation such as a hotel reached 292,993, a decline of 0.7 per cent when comparing the same period last year.
A total of 76,787 outbound tourists stayed at ‘other rented’ accommodation while a significant 143,428 opted for non-rented accommodation, which could translate into a time-share property jointly owned, staying with friends and family in private accommodation or staying in owned caravans and yachts.
It must be noted that the number of outbound tourists does not refer to unique individuals as the same Maltese resident travelling abroad could make multiple trips over the period under review, choosing different accommodation each time.
Total outbound tourist trips between January and September 2019 numbered 513,207, an increase of 6.2 per cent over 2018. Total nights spent by outbound tourists went up by 2.0 per cent, surpassing 3.3 million nights. In addition, total estimated outlay by resident tourists stood at €446.1 million, 7.6 per cent higher than that recorded for the same period in 2018.
Total outbound tourists for the third quarter in 2019 were estimated at 208,206, an increase of 4.5 per cent over the corresponding quarter of 2018.