The European country Malta has announced a scheme to encourage independent travelers to stay in its hotels from June this year in order to jumpstart its tourism economy.
The Malta Tourism Authority will pay each visitor who books a three-night stay directly with select three- to five-star hotels on a scaled basis, according to an official statement . Those who stay at a five-star property will get about $119 per person on every booking, while guests at four-star hotels will earn about $89 and visitors at three-star hotels can score about $60.
Malta’s Tourism Minister Clayton Bartolo added that those amounts will be matched by the hotels, doubling them at every level, so that visitors can earn up to $238 for their three-night stay at a five-star hotel. And those who go to Malta’s smaller island of Gozo will get an additional 10 percent incentive on top of that.
With $4.1 million allocated toward the plan, the country hopes that it can attract over 35,000 visitors with the budget, the release stated.
Currently, Malta is still in a partial pandemic lockdown, with the first steps toward reopening ongoing. Nonessential shops and services will reopen from April 26, the same day groups of up to four will be able to gather in public, according to the Malta Tourism Authority’s site.
But the biggest date on the calendar is Tuesday, June 1, when they will officially open to travelers. After all, 27 percent of the nation’s economy comes from tourism, according to World Travel and Tourism Council data. The country saw 2.7 million visitors in 2019, but that number dropped by 80 percent when the coronavirus pandemic hit.
Though the country has had 29,614 COVID-19 cases and 402 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic, 42 percent of its adults have received one dose of the vaccination which is the highest rate in the European Union (EU).