News Releases

Inbound Tourism: September 2023
Release Date: 10 November 2023
Total inbound tourists for September 2023 were estimated at 299,190, an increase of 20.2 per cent when compared to the corresponding month in 2022.


During the month under review, a total of 276,413 inbound tourists visited Malta for holiday purposes, and 13,969 tourists came for business purposes. The largest share of inbound tourists were aged between 25 and 44 (38.9 per cent), followed by the 45-64 age bracket (28.1 per cent) (Table 1). Italian, United Kingdom, and French residents made up 47.4 per cent of total inbound tourists (Table 5).

Total nights spent went up by 8.0 per cent when compared to September 2022, surpassing 2.1 million nights. The largest share of guest nights (82.5 per cent) was spent in rented accommodation establishments (Table 3). The average length of stay of total inbound tourists stood at 7.2 nights (Table 1).

Total tourist expenditure reached nearly €311 million, an increase of 21.9 per cent over the corresponding month in 2022 (Table 4). The average expenditure per night was estimated at €144.2 (Chart 2b).

January-September 2023

Inbound tourists for the first three quarters of 2023 amounted to 2,285,450, an increase of 31.6 per cent over the same period in 2022 (Table 6). Total nights spent by inbound tourists went up by 22.4 per cent, surpassing 15.7 million nights (Table 8).

Total tourist expenditure was estimated at €2.1 billion, 33.9 per cent higher than that recorded for 2022 (Table 9). Total expenditure per capita increased to €908 from €893 in 2022 (Table 11).

Chart 1. Total inbound tourists by month

September 2021 – September 2023

Chart 2a. Total expenditure per capita by inbound tourists

September 2021 - September 2023

No Data Found

Chart 2b. Total expenditure per night by inbound tourists

September 2021 - September 2023

No Data Found

Methodological Notes

1. This release focuses on Inbound Tourism, which comprises activities of non-resident visitors travelling to Malta (i.e. outside their usual environment) and staying for not more than 12 consecutive months for leisure, business or other (corresponding) purposes.

2. Inbound tourism data are collected from an ongoing frontier national survey known as Tourstat. Tourist air departures are collected through a continuous survey carried out at the departure lounge of the Malta International Airport. A two-stage sampling design is used to collect data on air passengers. In the first stage, alternate days and nights are selected. In the second stage, within each shift, a sample of air passengers is selected systematically. Every crossing air passenger is counted and respondents are selected using a pre-defined interval of 1:20, with the exception of July 2020 and the period October 2020 to June 2021, where the pre-defined interval was 1:10.

3. Tourstat measures the number of tourist trips carried out during a particular reference month. These differ from the number of tourists in that the same person can make more than one trip during the same period.

4. Tourist sea departures is supplemented by administrative data provided by ferry operators.

5. Absolute and percentage changes between one survey estimate and another based on less than 1,500 tourists should be treated with caution and are represented in this news release by means of the dash symbol (-).

6. Sea tourist data for the period May-October 2022 has been revised since it was previously an estimation resulting from delayed data communication from the source. This revision is reflected in all the 2022 figures in this release.

7. Owing to Croatia’s entry into the Eurozone (with effect from 1 January 2023), Croatian data is statistically classified as being in the Euro area from January 2023. Comparability between comparative periods should be treated with caution.

8. The monthly passenger departures data published by the Malta International Airport cannot be equated to the number of inbound tourists, because the former is inclusive of departing Maltese and transit passengers.

9. Data on cruise passengers who spent at least one night berthed on board their cruise ship in Malta (‘Overnight Cruise Passengers’) is compiled on the basis of administrative records supplied by Transport Malta.

10. Arrivals and nights spent in time-share accommodation are being categorised as ‘Non-rented Accommodation’ instead of ‘Collective Accommodation’ as per Eurostat’s recommendation. In this regard, there may be minor differences between these statistics and statistics published in tourism supply due to the fact that hotels report time-share accommodation under ‘Collective Accommodation’.

11. Prior to comparing and interpreting differences between demand-side (based on Tourstat) and supply-side (based on Accomstat) tourism statistics, users are strongly advised to consult concept 15.4 of the NSO’s metadata file.

12. Data included in this release are based on sample data and are therefore subject to sampling error. Sampling error is measured by a quantity known as the margin of error, which in turn, expresses the variability between the true population parameters and their corresponding sample estimates. In the table below, the margin of error is used to construct a set of 95 per cent confidence intervals for the main indicators, which gives an indication of where the true population parameters lie.

Sampling variability of inbound tourism figures

Estimate Margin of error 95% confidence interval
Inbound Tourists 299,190 2,075 299,190 ± 2,075
Total nights 2,156,577 92,132 2,156,577 ± 92,132
Total expenditure (€ 000) 310, 967 6,922 310, 967 ± 6,922

13. Definitions:

Usual environment: The geographical area, though not necessarily a contiguous one, within which an individual conducts his regular life routines and shall be determined on the basis of the following criteria: the crossing of administrative borders or the distance from the place of usual residence, the duration of visit, the frequency of visit, the purpose of visit.

Resident: A person is considered to be a resident of Malta/Gozo if:

a. S/he has lived for most of the past 12 months in Malta/Gozo;

b. S/he has lived in Malta/Gozo for less than 12 months but intends to return within a year to settle here.

Traveller: A person who moves between different geographic locations, for any purpose and any duration.

Visitor: The three fundamental criteria used to distinguish visitors from travellers are:

a. The trip should be to a place other than that of the usual environment, which would exclude short-distance local transport and commuting, i.e. more or less regular trips between the place of work/study and the place of residence;

b. The stay in the place visited should not last more than twelve consecutive months, beyond which the visitor would become a resident of that place (from the statistical standpoint);

c. The main purpose of the visit should be other than the exercise of an activity remunerated from within the place visited, which would exclude migratory movements for work purposes.

Tourist: A visitor who stays at least one night in a rented and non-rented accommodation in the place/country visited.

Inbound tourism: Comprises the activities of non-resident visitors travelling to Malta (i.e. outside their usual environment) and staying for not more than 12 consecutive months for personal, business or other purposes.

Total nights spent: Nights which a guest actually spends or is registered to spend in a rented accommodation establishment or in a non-rented accommodation.

Average length of stay: The number of nights spent divided by the number of trips during a specified reference period.

Rented accommodation: Consists of the following two sub-categories:

a. Collective accommodation: comprises hotels, guesthouses, hostels, tourist villages, holiday complexes, Bed & Breakfast and campsites.

b. Other rented accommodation: comprises holiday furnished premises (farmhouses, flats and villas), host families, marinas, paid-convents, rented yachts and student dormitories.

Non-rented accommodation: Comprises own private residence (owned dwellings, owned caravans and yachts), staying with friends or relatives (even if charged – includes also friends’ private apartments) and other private accommodation (oil rig, free-convents or timeshare, etc.).

Total expenditure: Refers to the amount that is going to be paid for the acquisition of consumption goods and services, as well as valuables during tourism trips. It includes expenditures by visitors themselves, as well as expenses that are paid for or reimbursed by others. The total expenditure is broken down by the following expenditure items:

a. Package expenditure: refers to the whole amount of money spent on transport, accommodation and other services such as rental of a car, activities or outings during the trip.

b. Non-package expenditure: is the amount of money spent on transport and accommodation reported separately.

c. Other expenditure: is the amount spent on shopping, souvenirs, tickets for concerts or sports events, entrance to museums or zoos and day excursions during a tourism trip. It also includes durables and valuable goods, that is, the amount spent on cars, computers, paintings, jewellery and works of art.

14. More information relating to this news release may be accessed at:

Sources and methods
Statistical concepts
Statistical database 

15. References to this news release are to be cited appropriately.

16. For further assistance send your request through our online request form.

17. A detailed news release calendar is available online.

Inbound Tourism: September 2023
Release Date: 10 November 2023
  • Total inbound tourists for September 2023 were estimated at 299,190, an increase of 20.2 per cent when compared to the corresponding month of 2022. Total nights spent amounted to 2,156,577, and total expenditure reached nearly €311 million.
  • The largest share of guest nights (82.5 per cent) was spent in rented accommodation establishments.
  • Inbound tourists in the first three quarters of 2023 amounted to 2,285,450, while total nights spent surpassed 15.7 million nights.
  • Total tourism expenditure for the period January-September 2023 was estimated at €2.1 billion, while expenditure per capita stood at €908.
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