Malta Will Pay Tourists To Visit This Summer

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.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. That’s interesting as islands are usually very touchy about the dangers of bringing illnesses in, see Hawaii as an extreme example. (In fact, when all this started I was on a ship in the Indian Ocean and each port we got to–Seychelles, Mauritius, Reunion–slammed its door shut in our faces. Cape Town grudgingly let all the passengers, but none of the crew, off long enough to fly out.) I will say Malta is a beautiful place with a lot to see, from prehistoric to modern. Hope you get there Gary.

  2. Drichard – I was on Norwegian making the same cruise to nowhere in the Indian Ocean. Been to Malta a few times and agree that it is indeed a nice place to visit. Malta will be host to the TCC international meeting in 2022.

  3. Observation about Hawaii. They have done a great job of keeping safe. Really not that draconian at all. They have simply required a preflight test and as a result have done well.
    It should be pretty simple for Hawaii to continue to stay safe by letting in vaccinated people
    unrestricted and requiring a test for everyone else.

  4. Not sure where you got your information from but Malta are not paying tourists to visit. If anything they would pay residents to take a break in a hotel.

  5. Any idea whether the historic sites will be open? It’s a wonderful place to visit but not if museums and churches are closed to tourists.

  6. We have a stay to Gozo booked through airbnb, not a hotel i know but will we be able to claim.anything for this? We fly in September. Thanks.

  7. Good luck getting to Malta from the US and not being subject to 24 hours predeparture COVID-19 testing and/or quarantines. Not to mention the outright ban on Americans.
    Flying KLM via AMS? Two mandatory COVID-19 tests (3 days + 24 hours). Flying AF via CDG? Also a mandatory COVID-19 test. Same with British Airways, Iberia and Lufthansa. The only option I think is Turkish Airways via IST.

  8. Good points, Alan.
    Countries should seize this opportunity and consider how the want to move forward. Any country that relied on tourism can consider other options now that Working-from-Home has become more mainstream. How about attracting highly paid IT professionals or other tech industry? No need to work from home behind a laptop in chilly Stockholm as you can do the same thing in Valetta!

  9. As an American expat, now a resident, I would offer some clarity. Yes, the offer is valid. There are some hidden reasons for this offer.

    Yes, the first wave was snuffed out, but returned with a vengeance, when they opened up airport too soon. Bad screening brought in British variant. Low cost tours brought in very low end tourists. Uncontrolled pool parties ramped up resurgence of virus.
    We went from single digit cases and around 50 deaths, to 500 cases a day, and over 400 deaths. So, back to another lockdown. Slowly opening up again. Tourism is supposed to start again 1 June. God I hope not. The population density in Malta is one of top ten in world.

    People here are finally grasping we don’t need or want drunk vomiters from UK anymore. High end tourists who want to visit to see our 5,000 year old heritage, can reduce the number of tourists by30%, and not reduce revenue.

    Fortunately, we have one of the best vaccine rollouts in the world. The Minister of Health believes we will reach herd immunity by July!

  10. Does anyone know…if one is able to enter Malta, can one enter any of the other Schengen countries from it?

  11. Mr Zelt’s view of UK tourists is a little outdated and typically snobbish. In my experience most are now in the ‘high end’ category with serial vomiters heading for other destinations. Having said that, those that do get through tend to stay in a few sink resorts so don’t generally worry the intelligentsia like Mr Z.

  12. Not all tourists from uk are drunken lots some are relatives of people who live here Maltese included. I haven’t seen my daughter or son since xmas 2019 and hoping that restrictions for then will mean we can finally meet up. Irrespective whether they get 200 euros or not.

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