Domestic tourism increased by half in pandemic year, NSO figures reveal

While domestic travel increased by 52%, inbound tourism took a 76% blow in 2020

Domestic tourism across Malta and Gozo increased by 52% in 2020
Domestic tourism across Malta and Gozo increased by 52% in 2020

Newly-published statistics show that Gozo became a top stay for Maltese residents during the year of the pandemic, with domestic tourism across Malta and Gozo increasing by 52% in 2020.

Figures published by the National Statistics Office reveal that domestic tourism across Malta and Gozo increased by 52% compared to 2019, with 360,460 total arrivals.

However, the number of tourists that visited Malta in 2020 decreased by 76% compared to the previous year, reaching 658,567 tourists. Total nights spent by inbound tourists to Malta surpassed 5.2 million, a decrease of 73% over 2019.

Whereby inbound tourist nights in the Malta region accounted for 93% of total nights, the Gozo and Comino region accommodated almost 7%.

Total expenditure by inbound tourists to Malta reached €455.1 million, having decreased by almost 80% compared to 2019 levels.

Domestic tourism to Gozo/Comino increased by 62%, with almost 350,000 Malta residents having travelled to Gozo and Comino throughout the year. 

Domestic tourism expenditure in Gozo and Comino was estimated at over €57 million - an increase of 61.2% over 2019 levels.

"Significant increases have been noted in the domestic tourists and the number of nights spent during the summer months when compared to 2019 levels," the NSO report states.

"This has been greatly attributed from the fact that residents in Malta preferred to travel to Gozo and Comino region due to COVID-19 related travel restrictions."

On the other hand, domestic tourism towards Malta fell by 45.5% in 2020. The number of Gozo and Comino residents who travelled to Malta as domestic tourists totalled 11,971 in 2020, while in 2019 the figure stood at 21,965.

Domestic tourism expenditure in Malta was estimated at almost €1.6 million, marking a 54% decrease over 2019.