Tourists visiting Malta this summer could receive up to €200 each should they choose to stay at a three, four or five-star hotel.
During a press conference on Friday, Tourism Minister Clayton Bartolo shared details of the scheme, announcing that it will apply to 35,000 tourists with an allocated budget of €3.5 million.
The scheme falls under a wider €20 million package announced by the Government last week in aid of the ailing tourism sector. Malta will be opening up for international tourism come 1st June.
Minister Bartolo explained that hotels wishing to participate should declare their interest with the Malta Tourism Authority (MTA). Following this, Government will pay tourists €100 each for staying at a five-star hotel, €75 for staying at a four-star hotel and €50 should they stay at a three-star hotel.
On their part, hotels must evenly match the Government’s contribution. Therefore, a lone traveller staying at a five-star hotel would be entitled to €200, €100 coming from the Government scheme and €100 coming from the chosen five-star hotel.
In the case of four-star hotels, tourists would be entitled to €150 each, while a total of €100 is eligible for tourists staying at three-star hotels.
In addition, international tourists choosing to stay at hotels in Gozo will benefit from a further 10 per cent of these grants, to make up for its double insularity.
To be eligible, tourists are requires to book directly through hotel websites while funds dispersed are intended to cover the cost of accommodation, food and drink, and other ancillary services within the hotel.
Minister Bartolo also shared details of a separate €3 million scheme for travel operators marketing Malta as a travel destination. Money will only be paid out should operators successfully bring tourists over.
Malta Hotel and Restaurants Association reacts
The Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association (MHRA) welcomed the announcement made by Minister Bartolo about two new schemes launched by the Government to support individual travellers booking directly (known as FIT) with hotels and other related marketing initiatives, as well as incentives targeting tour operators operating to Malta.
MHRA President Tony Zahra said that “The tourism sector is gearing up to ensure that it overcomes the most difficult 12-month period since the early ’60s. The industry feels encouraged and satisfied that beyond rhetoric Government is providing support to reignite the much-needed tourism sector”.
MHRA endorses the decision that such support is being spread across all the hotel categories as a quality destination requires offering a proper mix of collective accommodation products. MHRA said it understands that boutique hotels will also qualify for such incentives. It expressed satisfaction that when there is a dialogue between Government and the ones who are badly hit on the economic front line, then the chances for success will be much higher.
MHRA reiterates that prudence and responsibility are critical in the coming months to ensure that the COVID-19 spread is further controlled and managed to ensure the reopening of the hospitality industry as soon as possible especially the restaurants, followed by the relaunch of the tourism sector on 1st June.
In the meantime, MHRA said it will keep working closely with the Ministry of Tourism, Malta Tourism Authority, and other relevant authorities to ensure that support keeps being directed and invested in the tourism, hospitality, and travel sectors as a key component of the Maltese economy.
“Our objective is to re-establish the Maltese islands as a safe and quality destination in the shortest possible time,” said Mr Zahra.
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