Malta has many scenic and historical attractions, especially in Valletta, plus excellent beaches. Soccer is the national sport, and billiards and snooker are popular pastimes. US citizens and most Western Europeans need no visa for visits of less than three months.
Tourism is a major industry, with 1,215,713 visitors in 2000 and earnings of $614 million. That year there were 40,688 beds available in hotels and other accommodations, with a 47% occupancy rate. In 1992, a new $60 million air terminal was opened. In 2003, the US Department of State estimated the cost of staying in Malta at $180 per day.