EFL students made up approximately 10.4% of total tourist guest nights and 7.6% of total tourist expenditure – and spent about €148m in 2017, Deloitte estimates.
But the report also highlighted that for language centres the average turnover per student week, net of agency commission, fell by 1.7%, with the tuition revenue by student week losing almost 6 percentage points – primarily as a result of increased discounting.
“The total revenue per student week is showing a decrease which is not a long term sustainable solution”
At the same time, agency commission reached an estimated 30% of the total tuition revenue, in line with an increasing shift towards tour operator bookings at the expense of direct bookings.
“While the added arrival numbers show an increase in profitability for the schools, in reality, the total revenue per student week is showing a decrease which is not a long-term sustainable solution,” FELTOM CEO James Perry told The PIE.
“For this reason, FELTOM is working hard to find ways to understand the market better in order to be able to plan out a way forward for its member schools.”
And despite marketing initiatives from FELTOM, ELT Schools and MTA, Perry explained in a statement, other destinations are registering growth from certain countries while Malta sees a minimal increase on such arrivals.
“Competitive countries are registering an increase from the Asian and South American communities. While Malta has seen a slight increase over the years, there is more potential for growth and this is what FELTOM is trying to explore,” he told The PIE.
However, the outlook is positive. Malta has registered an increase in number of arrivals in 2017, when student numbers increased by 13.6% from 2016 according to a previously released report by Malta’s National Statistics Office. Perry added that 2018 is promising an even higher increase in arrivals.
Earlier in 2018, Malta announced changes to its student visa policy that will simplify and streamline the process for non-EU students and include work rights.