Photo Credit: Magdalena Smolnicka
Malta Wants To Pay Visitors Up To 200 Euros To Visit This Summer
Like many countries whose economies have been affected by COVID-19, Malta is implementing a new plan to boost tourism. The Southern European island country in the Mediterranean Sea has announced a scheme to encourage visitors to make hotel stays their preferred option when booking a vacation.
According to the Malta Tourism Authority, each independent traveler booking a minimum three-night stay at three to five-star hotels will receive a payment ranging from 50 to 100 euros using a tiered system. As an extra incentive, Tourism Minister Clayton Bartolo shared that these payments will be matched by the properties, doubling the amounts at every tier. This means that those opting for a five-star hotel will receive a total of 200 euros, those booking a four-star hotel will receive 150 euros, and those who select a three-star stay will receive 100 euros. Visitors to Gozo, the smaller Maltese island two miles north of the mainland, will benefit from an extra 10% on top of these incentives.
The scheme is expected to be in effect for passengers arriving from June 2021, just in time for summer. Reuters reports that the country drew over 2.7 million foreign visitors in 2019, but that number has since fallen by 80% after the virus was first detected in March 2020. This is a major blow to a country where tourism makes up 27% of the economy. A total of 3,500,000 euros has been earmarked for the scheme, and it is expected to attract more than 35,000 tourists.
Malta has seen a sharp drop in new COVID-19 cases. The rate of positive tests is down to 2.6% and the country boasts the highest virus vaccination rate in the European Union, with at least one dose administered to 42% of adults.
Those coming to Malta from the ‘green list’ of safe countries will not be subjected to a swab test on arrival. There will only be thermal screening at the airport and persons arriving will be asked to fill a self-declaration form requesting information on their travels in the previous 30 days. Specifically, they will be asked to confirm that they have not travelled anywhere outside the safe countries listed.
Find out more about the Incentives for Free Independent Travellers (FIT) on the Malta Tourism Authority website.