According to figures published by the Maltese National Statistics Office, 2016 was yet another record year for cruise passengers visiting this beautiful Mediterranean country. The Office recorded a total of 682,222 passenger movements, which means an increase of 2% on 2015.
Minister Zammit Lewis stated that the sister island of Gozo is also reaping extensive economic benefits from the success generated by the cruise sector. In 2016, according to figures produced by Transport Malta, 19 cruise port calls were registered in Gozo, and that carried nearly 7,000 passengers.
The Minister noted that Malta is strategically positioned in the middle of the Mediterranean and also enjoys a resilient level of security while this industry is serving as an important incentive for regeneration projects and investment particularly within the Grand Harbour region.
Economic revenue from cruising is not the only contribution that Malta benefits from this sector. Passengers spend a few hours on local shores and enjoy a minor taste of what the country has to offer, that is, a fantastic tourist destination and a natural choice for their holidays. Many passengers are charmed by our islands during their short visit and decide to return for a longer holiday.
Valletta Cruise Port stated that 2016 was another very positive year with 42 cruise companies and 81 different cruise liners calling the port. Clearly, the cruise industry is growing year-on-year and is increasingly contributing towards Malta's economic growth and prosperity.
The forecasts for financial year 2017 raise the bar even higher, with a target of over 700,000 passenger movements through 330 port calls.
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