Malta Is Surging The Tourism Industry With New Visa Free Entry Policy For 90 Countries Including Spain, USA, UK, and Schengen Nations

Malta Is Surging The Tourism Industry With New Visa Free Entry Policy For 90 Countries Including Spain, USA, UK, and Schengen Nations

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

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Malta, renowned for its captivating landscapes and as a filming hotspot, stands as a beloved travel destination. In 2024, it boasts a population of 536,740. Travelers from the UK, USA, and UAE enjoy visa-free entry, enhancing its appeal. This Mediterranean archipelago hosts some of the world’s most ancient structures, including the Megalithic Temples. Valletta, its medieval capital, features historic sites such as the Basilica of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and the Barrakka Gardens. The Blue Lagoon on Comino’s West coast is a haven for dolphins, sea lions, and other marine creatures. Known for its rich history and as one of Europe’s tiniest nations.

Malta’s country profile on Nations Online highlights its strategic location east of Tunisia and just 100 km south of Sicily, Italy. Covering 316 km², Malta includes the main island and smaller ones like Gozo and Comino. Despite its small size, larger than Washington, DC, and able to fit into Luxembourg eight times, the archipelago lacks mountains and rivers across its seven islands.

An island nation nestled in the central Mediterranean Sea, stands out as a strategically significant archipelago with a storied history of pivotal roles in the power struggles over Mediterranean dominance and as a cultural bridge linking Europe with Africa and the Middle East. The country consists of five islands—Malta, Gozo, Comino, and the uninhabited Kemmunett (Comminotto) and Filfla—positioned around 58 miles south of Sicily and about 180 miles from both Libya and Tunisia.

In June 2024, the United Kingdom emerged as Malta’s top source of inbound travelers, as evidenced by a notable increase in Google searches related to flights and accommodations in Malta—up nearly 32 percent over the past month and approximately 31 percent over the last three months.

In 2023 set a new record in Malta’s tourism sector with the arrival of over 3 million visitors (3,002,823), surpassing the 2019 figures by 8.3%. Tourism Minister Clayton Bartolo highlighted in a press conference that 2023 was the most successful year in the history of Malta’s tourism, not only in terms of visitor numbers but also in overnight stays and tourism revenue.

Malta’s tourism recovery in 2023 outperformed the European average, which achieved 94% of pre-pandemic levels, with only Albania recording a faster recovery. Following the UK, the major inbound markets included Italy, France, Germany, Poland, and Spain.

The demographic of tourists has shifted slightly younger, with 39% of visitors in 2023 aged between 25 and 44, while those aged 45 to 64 accounted for 30% of all tourists. Tourist spending in 2023 reached €2.7 billion, averaging €898 per person.

The tourism minister also noted a record 20 million overnight stays in 2023, up from 19.3 million in 2019. The preference for collective accommodations rose slightly to 63%, with nearly two-thirds of all visitors opting for this type of lodging. About 27% chose other rented accommodations.

Looking ahead to 2024, the tourism sector is projected to surpass 2019 levels by 2%, continuing its growth trajectory based on strong performance in 2023.

The broader Maltese economy is poised for continued growth, driven by robust exports and domestic demand. After a GDP growth of 5.6% in 2023, forecasts for 2024 and 2025 are set at 4.6% and 4.3%, respectively. The construction sector is also expected to see moderate recovery, with anticipated growth rates of 2.5% in 2024 and 3.9% in 2025. Despite a significant primary deficit, Malta’s public debt-to-GDP ratio is projected to remain stable due to strong GDP growth.

List 90 countries can travel to Malta visa-free: European Union (EU), the United States, Canada, Australia, and several countries in South America and Asia.

Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, All EU/EEA countries, Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, El Salvador, Georgia, Grenada, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Kiribati, Macao, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova , Monaco, Montenegro, Nauru, New Zealand, Nicaragua, North Macedonia, Norway, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Vatican City, Venezuela.

Valletta stands as Malta’s vibrant capital, serving as the cultural, commercial, and administrative core of the archipelago. This compact European capital boasts easy walkability, allowing visitors to explore its plethora of historic sites including baroque palaces, churches, and squares, densely packed within its narrow streets.

Gozo, Malta’s picturesque sister island, is a brief 20-minute ferry journey away. It enchants with its lush scenery, tranquil pace, and distinct character. A visit to Gozo and the medieval city of Mdina, once Malta’s capital, reveals a rich blend of medieval and baroque architecture.

Other key sites include the Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum, an underground World Heritage burial site, and The Three Cities — Cospicua, Vittoriosa, and Senglea, fortified during the Great Siege of 1565. The Blue Grotto area, known for its dazzling morning light reflections in the crystal-clear waters, is a haven for both tourists and locals.

Malta offers an array of luxury accommodations, from five-star hotels to restored palazzos and boutique lodgings, often at more competitive prices than mainland Europe. The islands are also a culinary hotspot with five Michelin-starred restaurants, numerous vineyards, and local delicacies like Maltese Pastizzi.

For those seeking aquatic adventures, the waters between Malta and Gozo offer exceptional diving, snorkeling, and boating, highlighted by the tranquil Blue Lagoon. Private yacht charters offer exclusive tours of Malta’s secluded bays and historical landmarks, providing a unique perspective on this richly storied region.

  • Exploring Malta: A Gateway to Cultural Riches and Serene Beaches

St. John’s Co-Cathedral,

The Grand Master’s Palace

The Grand Master’s Palace

Archaeology Museum,

Upper and Lower Barrakka Gardens

Ggantija temples on Gozo

BOCO Boutique Hotel ,

Radisson Blu Resort & Spa,

The Westin ,

Dragonara Resort,

Marriott St. Julian’s,

The Melior Boutique Hotel,

Turkish Airlines, renowned for connecting more countries than any other airline, along with KM Malta Airlines, Malta’s national carrier, have recently inaugurated a code-sharing partnership. Starting June 15, 2024, this alliance enhances connectivity by introducing joint flights directly linking Istanbul and Malta. This collaboration allows KM Malta Airlines to add their codes to Turkish Airlines’ flights on this route and vice versa, broadening travel possibilities for passengers of both airlines.

This strategic move not only strengthens Malta’s position as a pivotal travel hub but also enriches the travel experience for international visitors, making the archipelago more accessible than ever. Whether exploring the rich tapestry of Malta’s heritage sites or enjoying the serene Mediterranean ambiance, the enhanced air connectivity promises an even more seamless journey.

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