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Departing tourists increase by 10.9 per cent in December 2007

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National Statistics OfficeAccording to the ongoing frontier survey, tourist departures in December 2007 are estimated at 51,532, implying an increase of 10.9 per cent over the same month in 2006. The increase reflects primarily a rise in holidaymakers, mainly from the Scandinavian, French and German markets. By contrast, a decrease was registered in tourists from the United Kingdom, Italy and Switzerland.

Meanwhile, total nights spent decreased by 9.6 per cent when compared to December 2006. Year on year, total nights spent in private accommodation decreased by 35.1 per cent, while those in collective accommodation increased by 1.1 per cent. Overall, the average length of stay is calculated at 7.6 nights, down by 1.7 nights.

January-December 2007

Inbound tourists for the past twelve months are estimated at 1,243,510, implying an increase of 10.6 per cent over 2006. The growth was primarily attributable to an increase in holiday visits, mainly from the British, Scandinavian and Irish markets. Decreases were recorded with respect to the Austrian, Dutch and Belgian markets.

Table 6 shows that 87.1 per cent of all inbound visits comprised tourists coming from EU Member States. Although there was an increase in repeat tourism, data show that the overall increase was primarily characterised by a rise in first-time visits. These are estimated to account for 67.8 per cent of total visits. The largest age bracket comprised tourists aged 45 – 64, albeit the strongest increase is attributable to tourists aged 25 – 44.

Total nights spent increased by 3.3 per cent when compared to 2006. Nights spent in both private and collective accommodation increased respectively by 4.9 and 2.8 per cent. Tourist nights in rented accommodation remained practically unchanged while nights in owner- occupied accommodation decreased by 3.5 per cent. By contrast, total nights spent in lodging with friends or relatives increased by 17.0 per cent. With regard to guest-nights in collective accommodation a 22.8 per cent increase in the 5-star category was contrasted with a decrease in the 3-star and a lesser decrease in the 4-star categories. The average length of stay of inbound tourists for 2007 is calculated at 8.9 nights, down by 0.6 nights when compared to last year’s level.

In the period under review, total tourist expenditure is estimated at Lm454.2 million, an increase of 6.0 per cent over 2006. The growth was underpinned by higher non-package and other expenditure. Although the majority are still opting for package travel, direct bookings and non-package stays are exhibiting an increasing trend.

The survey results indicate that the per capita total expenditure is estimated at Lm373, down by 3.6 per cent when compared to the preceding year

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