Valletta Cruise Port registers Record Passenger visits
With 3 months to spare in 2019, the Valletta Cruise Port is already registering a record year with the highest number of passengers entering Malta on board of cruise liners. Almost 800,000 passengers have visited the Valletta Cruise Port so far, and according to the Chief Executive, Stephen Xuereb, 2019 is shaping up to be much better than expected. In fact Mr. Xuereb is predicting up to 900,000 passengers will be visiting our shores, confirming the popularity of Malta as an established Mediterranean cruise line destination.
“We will go over 800,000 passengers and I hazard to guess that it will go up to 900,000. The principle factor was that we had new ships which entered the market which have a larger capacity in terms of passengers, while for the first time since we have been operating, this year we also had three home port operations in the same season” Mr. Xuereb said.
Passengers are also arriving by air and starting their one-week cruise from Malta, leaving Malta, again by air at the end of their journey, with this type of operations happening three times a week.
Tui Cruises is also operating every Sunday, Monday and Thursday throughout the whole season with Thursday home port operations being operated by P&O Cruises.
Mr. Xuereb confirmed that apart from these two companies, which are considering using larger ships, negotiations are in place with another two companies who wish to introduce home porting from Malta.
When it comes to the money which this industry is leaving in the economy, the CEO of Valletta Cruise Port referred to the latest studies by the company.
“We estimate that it is leaving around €100 million in the economy, from which €23 million are coming from direct expenditure from passengers, and the rest, around €76 million, are being spent by the cruise line locally, in others words in terms of products and services” Mr. Xuereb said whilst asserting that passengers visiting Malta via these operations, are also considering longer holidays on the island thanks to such exposure. It is evidence that 60 – 70% of passengers are interested in actually coming back.
Mr. Xuereb finally said that this year’s growth will be retained in 2020.