Malta reported a 22.8 percent increase in cruise passenger arrivals in July 2008 over a year ago, local media and government officials reported Friday. More than 71,500 passengers arrived in Malta in July, an increase of nearly 13,300 over July 2007.

Total passenger traffic in Malta increased more than 21 percent from January to June this year, topping 270,100, according to Malta’s National Statistics Office.

Same-day visitors from Europe accounted for 78.2 percent of total traffic, primarily from Italy, Spain and Britain. Americans made up 61.4 percent of the remaining non-European incoming passengers.  However, 8,253 fewer German and 1,987 fewer French passengers arrived.

There were 42 cruise-ship arrivals in July, bringing the total for the first seven months of the year to 197 compared to 167 in the same period of 2007.