Inbound tourist numbers up, expenditure per capita down in Q1 2019

Inbound tourists for the first three months of 2019 amounted to 425,892, an increase of 2.8% over the same period in 2018. Total nights spent by inbound tourists during Q1 2019 went up by 4.2% reaching nearly 2.8 million nights, when compared to the same period in 2018. Total tourism expenditure was estimated at €272.4 million, 0.3% higher than that recorded for 2018. Total expenditure per capita stood at €640, a decrease of 2.3% when compared to 2018.

The table below shows that the number of nights spent in Collective Accommodation (Hotels) in Q1 2019 was slightly less than in Q1 2018, whilst the number of nights in other rented non-Hotel accommodation shot up by 17.6% in Q1 2019 when compared to the same period in 2018.

table 1

Below also find a comparison of the expenditure per capita for Q1 2019 and Q1 2018, which identifies the sectors where the reduction is taking place.

table 2

Slight rise in inflation

In April 2019, the annual rate of inflation as measured by the Retail Price Index (RPI) was 1.91%, up from 1.89%in March 2019.The twelve-month moving average rate for April stood at a rate of 1.47%.

table 3

Unemployment keeps dropping

In April, the number of persons registering for work stood at 1,748 decreasing by 5.4 % when compared to the corresponding month in 2018. Data provided by Jobsplus for April 2019 indicate a decline of 113 persons registering under Part I and an increase of 14 among those registering under Part II of the unemployment register, when compared to the same month last year. Registered unemployed dropped among all age groups, with the exception of those aged less than 25 years. When compared to April 2018, increases of 6 and 17 persons were recorded amongst registrants whose duration of unemployment were under 21 weeks and between 21 and 52 weeks, respectively. On the other hand, a decrease of 122 persons was recorded among registrants who had been looking for a job for more than one year. The number of persons with a disability who were registering for work decreased by 65 when compared to the previous year, reaching 218.


Widening trade deficit

During Q1 2019, the trade deficit widened by €640.2 million when compared to the corresponding period of 2018, reaching €1,278.5 million. Imports and exports increased by €649.3 million and €9.0 million respectively. Higher imports were mainly recorded in machinery and transport equipment (€726.1 million), partly outweighed by a decrease of €105.9 million in mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials. The main increase in exports was registered in miscellaneous manufactured articles (€37.4 million), partly outweighed by decreases in machinery and transport equipment (€22.3 million) and semi-manufactured goods (€7.9 million).


table 4

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At the end of March 2019, the stock of licensed motor vehicles stood at 387,775. Out of this total, 77.8% were passenger cars. During the quarter under review, the stock of licensed vehicles increased at a net average rate of 27 vehicles per day. Newly licensed vehicles put on the road during the period under review amounted to 6,526. The majority of the newly licensed vehicles, 4,932 or 75.6% of the total, were passenger cars, followed by goods-carrying vehicles with 782 or 12%. Newly licensed ‘new’ motor vehicles amounted to 2,669 or 40.9% of the total, whereas newly licensed ‘used’ motor vehicles totalled 3,857 or 59.1%. An average of 73 vehicles per day were newly licensed during the quarter under review.


table 5

During the 1st quarter of 2019, outbound tourists towards EU and non-EU countries increased by 4.5% and 25% respectively, when compared to the same quarter in 2018. Italy and the United Kingdom remained the most popular destinations, with a joint share of 49.9% of total tourist trips. Total estimated outlay by outbound tourists between January and March increased by 9.3% over the same quarter of 2018, and stood at €112.9 million, equivalent to an average €769 per trip.