News Releases

Outbound Tourism: Q4/2022
Release Date: 20 February 2023
Total outbound tourists for the fourth quarter in 2022 were estimated at 180,215, while total nights spent amounted to 1,214,296.

October-December 2022

During the quarter under review, a total of 109,979 outbound tourist trips were undertaken for holiday purposes (61.0 per cent), followed by 45,856 trips for visiting friends and relatives. Most outbound tourists were aged between 25 and 44 years (49.1 per cent), followed by those within the 45-64 age bracket (28.7 per cent) (Table 1). Italy remained the most popular destination, with a share of 33.0 per cent of total tourist trips (Table 6).

The largest share of guest nights (50.8 per cent) was spent in non-rented accommodation establishments (Table 3). The average length of stay of total outbound tourists stood at 6.7 nights.

Total expenditure by outbound tourists between October and December surpassed €158.7 million, equivalent to an average €881 per person (Tables 4 and 5).

January-December 2022

Total outbound tourist trips for the year 2022 numbered 601,701 (Table 7), while total nights spent by outbound tourists surpassed 4.2 million nights (Table 9). In addition, total estimated outlay by resident tourists stood at €517.5 million (Table 10).

Chart 1. Total outbound tourists

No Data Found

Chart 2. Average length of stay by year and type of accommodation


No Data Found

Chart 3a. Total expenditure per capita by outbound tourists


No Data Found

Chart 3b. Total expenditure per night by outbound tourists


No Data Found

Chart 4. Average expenditure per capita by final destination of outbound tourists

October-December 2022

No Data Found

Additional Tables and Charts

Methodological Notes

1. This release focuses on outbound tourism, which comprises the activities of Maltese residents travelling to, and staying in places outside Malta (i.e. outside their usual environment), and staying for not more than 12 consecutive months for personal, business or other purposes.
2. Data on outbound tourism trips 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 passengers is selected systematically. Every crossing air passenger is counted and respondents are selected using a pre-defined interval of 1:20.
3. Tourist sea departures are collected through a regular survey conducted during three separate months every year at the Valletta Cruise Port. A quota sample is used to conduct sea passenger departures in which survey interviewers are guided to select people according to some fixed quota. Survey data is supplemented by administrative data provided by ferry operators.
4. ‘Tourist trips’ differs from the ‘number of tourists’ such that the same person can undertake more than one trip during a reference period.
5. Statistics in this News Release should be interpreted in the context of the COVID-19 situation. In view of the pandemic, the Tourstat survey was suspended between 12 March and 30 June 2020. Statistical methods were applied to cover the period from 13 March to 20 March 2020, when scheduled passenger flights were still in operation.
The following is the related chronology of events happened during 2020 in Malta:
28th February People flying in from Italy, China (including Hong Kong), Singapore, Japan, Iran and South Korea from 26th February onwards needed 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.
10th March The last cruise liner call.
11th March Flights from/to France, Switzerland, Germany and Spain, were suspended.
11th March People flying in from France, Switzerland, Germany and Spain, needed to stay in quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.
13th March All people flying in from all destinations needed to stay in quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.
18th March The last Virtu' Ferries service for passengers between Malta and Sicily.
21st March All flights from/to all destinations were suspended.
1st July Re-opening of Malta International Airport. The first group of destinations that reopened for travel comprised: Germany, Austria, Italy, France, Spain, Poland, Cyprus, Switzerland, Iceland, Slovakia, Norway, Denmark, Hungary, Finland, Ireland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Luxembourg, Czech Republic, Greece and Croatia.
15th July Restrictions on all other flight destinations were lifted.
21st August First cruise liner call since March 2020.

Sources: Malta Tourism Authority, Virtu’ Ferries, Transport Malta and Valletta Cruise Port.

6. Owing to the UK’s exit from the European Union (with effect from 1 February 2020), UK data is statistically classified as Non-EU from January 2020 in all tables. Comparability between comparative periods should be treated with caution.

7. Expenditure data in this release represent the budgeted expenditure of outbound tourists prior to their departure.

8. 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.

Please provide a valid CSV file.

9. 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 and 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 12 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 trips: trips with at least one overnight stay in either rented or non-rented accommodation in the place/country visited.

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

●  Average length of stay: the number of nights spent divided by the number of tourists 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 establishments 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. Maltese residents are asked to budget the expenditures which they are about to incur when travelling abroad. The total expenditure is broken down by the following expenditure categories:

a. Package expenditure: 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: the amount of money spent on transport and accommodation reported separately;

c. Other expenditure: the amount spent on shopping, souvenirs, tickets for concerts or sport 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.

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

Sources and methods

Statistical concepts 


Outbound Tourism: Q4/2022
Release Date: 20 February 2023
  • Outbound tourist trips from October to December 2022 reached 180,215, while total nights spent amounted to 1,214,296 nights.
  • Italy remained the most popular destination with a share of 33.0 per cent.
  • The majority of guest nights (50.8 per cent) were spent in non-rented accommodation establishments.
  • Total estimated outlay by resident tourists for the period October-December 2022 stood at €158.7 million while expenditure per capita stood at €881.
  • Outbound tourist trips in 2022 reached 601,701 while total nights spent surpassed 4.2 million nights.
  • Total tourism expenditure for the year 2022 was estimated at €517.5 million while expenditure per capita stood at €860.
Inflation Calculator News releases calendar Request for Information NACE Code queries
Skip to content