The Research Unit primarily devises means of collecting and generating market intelligence information from various sources. It utilises such information to guide the Malta Tourism Authority (MTA) towards the best allocation of resources. It does this by giving directional support to the various planning processes, and ensures accountability whilst also implementing the concept of activity evaluation in a practical manner.

Research activities are subdivided into international research and local research. Through international research, a close monitor of developments and performance of the outbound markets and market segments generating tourism flows is kept, including the monitoring of competitor destinations. Local research focuses on both customer and trade analysis, including market profile surveys, product and service analysis and economic analysis.

International and local tourism trends and performance are monitored and compared on an ongoing basis via a number of data sources as featured below.