Pack your bags: Malta will pay you to visit

Island in the sun: Malta is one of the biggest success stories in battling the pandemic

THE island of Malta is willing to pay you to come and visit.
The coronavirus pandemic has put a huge dent in tourism, the most important economic factor in Malta. But with most travel restrictions expected to be lifted before August, government and tourism officials are offering cash incentives to put Malta in your summer plans.
Here’s how the plan works: The Malta Tourism Authority (MTA) and participating hotels will pay any visitor booking a three-night stay at select properties on the island. You’ll get £200 for a five-star hotel, £150 for a four-star hotel, and £100 for a three-star property.
Tourists who visit Malta’s smaller island of Gozo will get an additional 10%.
The plan is open to “free individual travellers,” meaning those who book packages or work through a travel agent will not be eligible.
The MTA hopes to attract up to 35,000 visitors through the programme.
“The scheme is aimed at putting Malta’s hotels in a very competitive position as international tourism restarts,” said Clayton Bartolo, Malta’s minister for tourism and consumer protection.
The nation, located south of Italy in the Mediterranean Sea, attracts more than two million visitors each year. But that number fell by more than 80% in 2020, putting a huge dent in the nation’s economy.
According to estimates from the government, tourism accounts for 27% of the economy.
Malta has been one of the biggest success stories in battling the pandemic. It has one of the highest vaccination rates in Europe, with more than 42 percent of its citizens having received at least one dose. And its number of COVID cases is among the lowest in the world, with a 2.6 positivity rate among those tested.
The island nation is very budget-friendly (it’s one of the cheapest Eurozone countries out there). It’s difficult to really spend a lot of money.

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