Discounted Malta holidays

By | Category: Travel destinations

It was widely expected that many destinations heavily reliant on British tourists would work hard to get us to holiday this summer but how many of us expected that our holiday would be subsidised?

Citadel on the island of Gozo © Clive Vella

That is what Malta will do for visitors who travel to the country after the beginning of June which is when the island hopes to have lifted all the current coronavirus restrictions.

It plans to give foreign visitors a gift of up to € 200 euros each if they stay at least three days on Malta or Gozo this summer. And, if you have been fully vaccinated, you don ‘t need to take a PCR test three days before arrival provided that you show your certificate of vaccination.

Most importantly, the money will only be given to tourists booking summer holidays directly through local hotels and not via tour operators, online travel agents or airlines. Obviously the money that would have been paid to these organisations as commissions is being used to help finance the idea.

It isn’t quite as simple as that because the subsidy is based on the star rating of the accommodation you choose and whether you stay on Malta or on Gozo.

If you stay at a five star hotel you will get €100 euros from Malta’s Tourism Authority, and €200 from the hotel at which you stay. Staying in a four star hotel will see you receive € 150 euros split between the tourist authority and the hotel and those staying at a three star hotel will receive €100.

If you stay on Gozo then a similar scheme will exist but you will be paid an additional 10% above and beyond what you will be paid on Malta.

About a third of all tourists visiting Malta come from the UK which, in 2019 amounted to about half a million of us but the vast majority will book via a third party and, thus, be ineligible for the subsidy.

Malta

How many then does Malta expect to subsidise? About 35,000 the government says and that applies to all foreign visitors not just British ones.

Those considering this option should bear in mind that any bookings made directly will not be covered by an ATOL protection policy so your travel insurance should be checked. It is probably also advisable to pay by credit card so that you are covered by those protection policies in case of problems such as sudden lockdowns being introduced.

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