Malta’s inclusion in the UK’s green list of countries Brits can travel to without needing to quarantine upon their return home, welcomed by industry stakeholders, is having a marked effect on hotel bookings, according to local operators, although this was not uniform throughout the sector.
BusinessNow.mt reached out to hotels in the prime tourist areas of Valletta, Sliema, St Julian’s, and Qawra to find out whether the Government’s aggressive efforts at promoting Malta in the UK was leaving an impact.
Claudia Micastro, speaking for Castille Hotel, said the difference in reservations from the UK since Malta’s inclusion on the green list was noticeable, and the hotel is now expecting a “decent summer”.
Iniala Harbour Hotel, which opened last year, expressed a similar concern, noting that before travel restrictions between the two countries were lifted, around a third of their reservations from UK visitors had been cancelled. However, no new reservations from the British market were received since the latest development.
For Palais Le Brun, the withdrawal of restrictions on travel came as a welcome but not crucial development. The hotel, housed in a seventeenth century baroque palace, was on track to having a good summer regardless of Malta’s inclusion on the green list, although the influx of bookings received over the last days means that it is now close to being fully booked for the coming months.
A representative for Luciano Hotel said they did not see a big increase in reservations from British tourists, but explained that they are less dependent on the British market than others.
“We’ve always had a varied clientele,” she said.
Hotels situated in Sliema and St Julian’s meanwhile reported an overwhelmingly positive response to the suspension of quarantine rules for Brits visiting Malta.
The Preluna noted a large increase in reservations coming from the UK, especially in the last two days since Malta clarified that the UK vaccine certificate would be accepted.
The Marriott Hotel & Spa, situated in Balluta Bay, said there has been a “definite” increase in bookings, although contrary to the Preluna, this was more pronounced before the weekend. A Marriott representative conjectured that there had been pent up demand, with many Britons poised to book as soon as the green list was updated.
“That pent up demand might have been used up now,” she surmised.
Asked whether they were expecting a successful summer, the representative replied “definitely”.
Similarly, the recently opened Hyatt Regency said the number of reservations from the UK had increased on news of the green list update and again once vaccine certificate rules were clarified.
“We are expecting it to be a good summer. We have all the precautions in place to ensure our guests’ safety,” said a representative for the hotel.
Hotels based in Qawra reported a similar noticeable increase, with both Il Palazzin and Qawra Palace Hotel saying the increase was a large one.
“We got many reservations,” explained Simon Borda, General Manager of Il Palazzin. “At this moment we are expecting a good July and August. July is definitely going to be very busy.”
Similarly, Chiara Ferrigni, from Qawra Palace Hotel’s reservations department, said that they expect summer to be very busy.
“With this increase from the UK market we are confident that this will be a good summer,” she said.
The change could hit smaller establishments negatively
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