Sea traffic on the rise between Malta and Gozo
The addition of a fourth ferry and good weather conditions explain the increase in trips, vehicles and passengers
- January 16, 2020 13:00
- Plamen Petrov
Sea transport between Malta and Gozo, the largest islands of the Maltese archipelago, was on the rise during the fourth quarter of 2019, compared to the same period in 2018. Increases were registered in terms of passengers, vehicles and trips, figures released yesterday by the National Statistics Office (NSO) showed.
According to the NSO data 1,355,243 passengers travelled between Malta and Gozo in the last quarter of 2019, or 2.6% more than in the same quarter of the previous year. Passenger numbers peaked in October – 533,020 or 39.3% of the total.
The number of vehicles was up by 6.8%, totalling 425,767.
There were 7,653 trips, an increase of 31.5%. The majority of trips were made in October – 2,712 or 35.4% of total trips for the quarter.
Fourth ferry joins the fray
According to the Times of Malta, the increase can be largely attributed to Gozo Channel's addition, in June 2019, of a fourth ferry to its fleet which helped ease queuing pressures. The long, warm season with quiet sea was also a decisive factor.
Overall the number of trips in 2019 increased by 4,012 or 17.0 %, over 2018. Vehicle movements between the islands went up by 123,007 or 7.4 % over the previous year, while the number of passengers rose by 159,462 or 2.8 %.
As in previous years, the highest number of trips was recorded in August - 2,802 or 10.1 % of the total. August also saw the largest share of vehicles and passengers crossing between the two islands, 187,536 and 649,878, respectively.
The ferry boat line between Malta and Gozo allows foreign tourists to rent a car from Malta airport and tour the islands at their own pace.
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