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Malta: ELT figures “stabilise” after 2017’s high

The first six months of 2019 brought a slight decrease in student numbers for Malta’s ELT industry, while student weeks increased – a pattern FELTOM CEO James Perry said shows the industry is trying to “stabilise” after 2017’s high.

Photo: gIn/Pixabay

Another trend was the decrease in accommodation bookings made through schools

According to the Deloitte report commissioned by FELTOM, in Q2 2019 schools reported a 4.5% decrease in new student arrivals, while student weeks increased by 9.8%.

The average length of stay also increased by 15%, from 14.8 days in 2018 to 17 days in 2019.

“This year we are regaining, so to speak, the student weeks we lost last year”

The top-growing markets during the quarter examined were Japan and Poland, while schools reported the biggest declines from Spain and Turkey.

“In 2017 we saw a massive increase in Q1 and Q2,” Perry recalled. “In 2018 and 2019 we are seeing decreases.

“How we are interpreting it is that the industry is trying to stabilise itself: we noticed that the decreases are there but the overall number of students is still quite healthy.”

An interesting trend is an increase in student weeks, Perry commented.

“Last year we had a decrease in student weeks and it affected a lot of our industry,” he said.

“This year we are regaining, so to speak, the student weeks we lost last year. That’s very positive for us.”

Another trend picked up by the report is a decrease in accommodation bookings made through schools – this was observed both in Q1 and Q2.

According to Perry, the industry has been observing an increasing tendency for students to book accommodation separately (through agents or online, for example), and a growing number of direct bookings and “walk-ins” may have also played into the trend picked up by the report.

The rising cost of accommodation, on the other hand, is playing against the industry, Perry commented.

“Accommodation costs have been increasing for quite a while and that’s been affecting the total revenue,” he explained, adding that the organisation is pushing for the creation of more affordable accommodation for students.

FELTOM has commissioned an investigation into the Maltese ELT industry to Deloitte, with a full report to be launched soon.

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