The first international trip I cancelled at the start of the pandemic was an award ticket for the new Austin – Amsterdam KLM flight in business class. After a couple of days in Amsterdam I was set to catch a flight to Malta.
That KLM flight never launched, but Malta is giving a new reason to visit: a payment to tourists of up to $261 to encourage the trip, provided hotel accommodations are booked direct. Hotels will be covering half of the subsidy, so avoiding commissions to agents helps fund this rebate.
- Five star hotel stays will receive a 200 euro rebate
- Four star bookings will receive a 150 euro rebate
- Three star bookings will receive a 100 euro rebate
- Stays on the island of Gozo will receive 10% more
As a result it’s possible to receive up to 220 euros to help support a stay in a five star property on the Maltese island of Gozo.
It remains to be seen what protections will be in place to prevent double or triple dipping on the subsidy through hotel hopping or whether there will be minimum stay restrictions to be eligible for a payout, or whether there will be minimum spend requirements (so that an award stay at the Marriott Malta or Westin Dragonara will count).
Credit: Marriott Malta
Malta didn’t suffer the same sort of first wave of Covid as the rest of Europe but experienced a prolonged fall and winter surge which now appears to be largely under control.
The country has also vaccinated residents at a much higher rate per capita than the bulk of Europe, on par with the United States.
Malta plans to re-open to tourism June 1 and intends to allow anyone that’s vaccinated to enter without testing, or welcome unvaccinated tourists with negative test taken ‘a few hours’ prior to arrival. Specific re-opening procedures, and who will be allowed to revisit, are not yet firm.