As the summer season kicks off and the warmer weather has at last settled, local lidos are already filling up with patrons looking to kick back, enjoy a few drinks with their peers and get their tan sorted for the year.

While the COVID-19 pandemic is in the rear-view mirror, and supply chain issues are being addressed, Malta is still reeling from the impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the effects of prolonged high levels of inflation on purchasing power.

Just as it did in 2022, BusinessNow.mt took a snapshot of daily rates charged by a number of the most popular lidos in Malta.

A coupled key observations made were:

  • Only two lidos which were observed did not change their rates
  • Rate hikes in 2023 were larger on average than they were in 2022
  • Where lidos were located did necessarily impact the degree of their rate hikes

Starting off with Amazonia at the Dolmen Complex, prices at the Qawra/Bugibba-based lido were found to have increased slightly.

In 2023, a day at the lido will set you back €18 if you’re planning on visiting sometime between Monday and Friday, €2 more than it did in 2022. Despite the hike it continued to be the most affordable rate compared to other observed lidos.

During the weekend and public holidays, rates increased to €25, €5 more expensive than it was in the previous year.

Another popular destination in the area, Café Del Mar, was also found to have adjusted its pricing structure for 2023.

This year, their pricing structure is as follows:

2023Normal sunbedCushioned sunbedVIP sunbedLuxury bed (max 2 people)
27th May – 8th October€25€35€45€130
9th October– 29th October€20€25€30€100

Whereas these were the prices for 2022:

Dates 2022Normal sunbedCushioned sunbedVIP sunbedLuxury bed (max 2 people)
21st May – 9th October€20€30€40€140
10th October – 30th October€15€20€30€120

This indicates an increase of €5-€20 more in 2023 compared to the previous year, similar to the hike recorded from 2021 to 2022.

Moving onward to Sliema and St Julians, prices changes were in the minority among observed lidos.

Sliema’s 1926 Beach Club kept its prices mostly unchanged for another year. Since at least 2021, the venue’s prices for a full-day spent between Monday and Thursday remained unchanged from €20. Prices for a full-day spent between Friday and Sunday also remained stable, at €25.

Intercontinental Malta’s Skybeach also kept its prices unchanged from the previous year. At the rooftop lido, guests were required to spend €80 to enter and spend a day at the establishment, granting them a dedicated sunlounger and umbrella. The money spent is turned into credit which is then used buy guests to buy food and drink.

The last time the lido changed rates was from 2021 to 2022, when it raised them by €10 for the package.

Meanwhile, Corinthia St Goerge Bay Hotel had the most dramatic increase in prices, with rates on average almost double what they were in 2022.

This year, visitors would need to shell out €45 to spend a day at the lido between Tuesday and Friday, a sharp increase from the €25 rate of the previous year.

Furthermore, while in 2022 the lido had different rates for the categories of Saturday + Monday and Sunday + public holidays (€30 and €35 respectively), in 2023 these were grouped together under a single category and raised to €60.

There may be several reasons why a number of local lidos have elevated prices, mainly, inflation and promising tourism figures.

Food prices continue to be the main driver for inflation in Malta, increasing operating costs for catering establishments. Furthermore, operators have to contend with wage inflation amid a workforce shortage, as businesses are competing for a small pool of available workers.

Aside from rising operational costs, establishments may also be more confident in being able to fill in empty sunbeds amid record numbers of incoming tourists. By April 2023, Malta had already received 700,000 tourists, indicating a potential record year for the tourism industry.

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