Hospitality hotel room pexels

Hotels intending to participate in Free Independent Traveller (FIT) scheme must submit a marketing plan promoting the scheme to the Malta Tourism Authority (MTA) prior to receiving confirmation of their participation.

In a document containing guidelines about the scheme, circulated among hotels on Monday, the MTA says that hotels must clearly outline how the scheme would be promoted on their direct reservation platforms.

Hotels must also identify the incentives which will be in place for tourists to avail themselves of the scheme.

Incentives given as example include “Buy 3 Get 5”, “Free Spa Services” and “Dine on us”.

The document reveals a number of other details relating to the scheme’s operation.

Contrary to the popular perception that Government is handing out cash to visitors, tourists will actually receive a credit or deduction on their final hotel bill at the end of their stay, with no cash being given out at any point.

Travellers hoping to benefit from the scheme, which will be calculated on a per person basis, must book at least three nights at a participating hotel.

Hotels will be allocated a budget commensurate with the number of licensed beds, which budget allocation must be used up by the end of 2021, with no possibility to carry it forward into 2022.

Cancellations are also not supported by the scheme.

Social media, telephone, email or methods other than through the hotel’s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system are not accepted. Only direct bookings are accepted, so travel agents may not book the hotel on behalf of their clients.

The subsidy applies to those bookings received after the launch of the scheme, meaning that it does not apply to existing bookings.

Hotels are free to place limits on the scheme as they will. They are free to limit the offer to a particular room type or a specific offer, or to specific months in 2021. Hotels may also choose to reserve certain dates for tourists who are not using the scheme.

Alternatively, hotels may decide to exclude any other offers in conjunction with the FIT scheme, as long as all terms and conditions are set out and communicated on the offer or booking page of the hotel’s website.

They can also exclude those already taking advantage of separate promotional offers, such as loyalty points.

The document also clarified that Maltese residents are not eligible for the scheme, but Maltese who are resident abroad and who are therefore visiting the country as tourists are eligible.

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