LONDON, October 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
-As many holidaymakers fled the summer rain, the southern-European island of Malta welcomed record numbers of tourists this year-
Malta was the major surprise among European destinations in summer 2012, according to leading online travel agency Holiday Hypermarket.
Despite the economic crisis affecting a large number of economies in the Eurozone, tourism to the sun-kissed Mediterranean island of Malta increased noticeably in the month of July, with data from Malta's National Statistics Office showing a 7.2 per cent increase in arrivals over the previous year. EU visitors (five per cent increase) and non-EU visitors, who grew by an impressive 19 per cent, contributed to the country's outstanding tourism in 2012.Holidays to Malta are particularly popular among British holidaymakers, who now represent the main group of tourists by nationality and 26 per cent of total visitors. While England and Wales recorded the wettest summer of the last 100 years, Malta made for an affordable getaway with average expenditure of approximately £70 per night. This heightened the usual appeal of a welcoming Mediterranean destination which has historically been linked to Britain and where English is still an official language. Calum Macdonald, e-Commerce Manager at Holiday Hypermarket, comments: "The case of Malta demonstrates how, even in difficult economic periods, a welcoming atmosphere and range of affordable accommodation are very strong attractions. "British tourists over the summer have generally been resorting to destinations where low prices go hand-in-hand with natural beauty and hot temperatures; Malta is that kind of place, a home away from home for all beach lovers." About Holiday Hypermarket: