Cruise passenger statistics published for the second quarter of 2015 show a 66.4 percent year-over-year increase for Malta.

The number of cruise ships calling in the Maltese Islands grew from 89 calls in April to June 2014 to 108 calls this year.

For the first six months of the year, traffic is up 39.9 percent.

Malta’s cruise sector is on a growth curve particularly as a result of a number of positive initiatives, said the tourism authority, ranging from strong performance by MSC and Costa, along with TUI homeporting.

Total passengers in the second quarter were listed at 205,224.

In the period under review, the second quarter of 2015, impressive growth has been particularly registered from a number of important markets, Germany (+ 333.4% or 38,268 more passengers), Italy (+49.7% or 11,134 more passengers) and Spain (+337.4% or 7,045 more passengers).  

Smaller markets such as the Australian (+84.1% or 3,067 more passengers), the US (+10.3% or 1,272 more passengers) and the Japanese market (+272.7% or 1,017 more passengers) have also featured healthy double digit increases.

The Malta Tourism Authority is very satisfied with these results. MTA CEO Paul Bugeja stated that: “Apart from the immediate benefits of cruise passengers’ spending in Malta’s economy particularly in Valletta and Grand Harbour business communities, the fact that such a large number are visiting our islands for a few hours allows us to showcase what Malta can offer and address many misconceptions that anybody who does not know Malta today, may have. Many of these day visitors tend to come back to our shores for a longer holiday shortly after visiting.”