Outbound tourists in April dropped by nearly a quarter when compared to the previous year, reaching an estimated 16,443, the NSO reported on Friday. During the month same day visitors stood at 2,132.

The decline in total trips brought about by the volcanic eruption in Iceland, effectively restrained the operations of northern European airports. This had a negative influence on outbound tourism, dropping considerably with respect of 2009.

During April, outbound trips to EU destinations were estimated at 14,108, down by 27 per cent when compared to last year. A further 2,335 trips headed towards Non-EU destinations. Italy and the UK were the most popular outbound destinations, despite a sharp drop in the British market.

The majority of outbound tourists were males, standing at 9,984, while the largest proportion of outbound trips were carried out by those in the 25-44 age group.

During the first four months of the year, outbound passengers were estimated at 73,940, down by 1 per cent when compared to last year. This decline was attributed to the registered drop in outbound tourism during April. An estimated 85 per cent of outbound tourists chose to visit EU destinations. The most visited countries were the UK and Italy.

The largest proportion of outbound passengers fill in the 25-44 age bracket, followed by those in the 45-64 age group. The 0-24 age group registered a substantial increase in trips and stood  at 13,612.

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