Looking for a country to discover this summer? How about a place that’s not only beautiful but will actually pay you to come and visit?
Malta, the island country located in southern Europe, announced last week that it’s giving financial incentives to attract summer holidaymakers starting June.
According to Skyscanner, a metasearch app based in Scotland which aggregates flights and hotels, Malta Tourism Authority wants to attract 35,000 visitors via its program “Incentives for Free Independent Travellers.” The country has allocated $4.2 million or P203 million on the scheme.
Malta’s Tourism Minister Clayton Bartolo said, “The scheme is aimed at putting Malta’s hotels in a very competitive position as international tourism restarts.”
The program wants to attract independent travelers to the Mediterannean country for a minimum of three nights to book their holiday stays in five-, four- and three-star hotels.
Tourists in five-star hotels will get $120 (P5,800) towards the cost of their stay while four-star hotel guests will get $90 (P4,355) and three-star hotel guests will get $75 (P3,600).
A cursory search on Booking.com for a weekday stay in June shows that hotels in the capital city Valletta costs around $115 per night for five-star hotels such as the Grand Hotel Excelsior and $58 for three-star hotels such as Luciano Al Porto.
The subsidy by the Maltese government roughly equals to a one night stay regardless of the hotel class. But that’s not all, participating hotels are expected to match the amount, which doubles the subsidy to $240 or P11,600.
According to Lonely Planet, hotels in the program “must allocate the same amount to the traveler to be spent on accommodation, food and beverages and other services within the hotel property.”
Skyscanner said, “The payout is per person, not per booking, so if you’re travelling with friends they’ll all get the stipend too.”
Filipinos traveling to Malta need a Schengen visa. Its visa processing partner in the Philippines is VFS Global, which said on March 17 that “all arrivals to Malta are subject to a mandatory quarantine of 14 days, the fine for breaching the quarantine is 3,000 euros.”
But by June 1, the island republic is opening its borders to most countries. Check Malta’s COVID requirements and border rules for travelers from the Philippines on Skyscanner’s Live COVID map here.
To apply for Malta Tourism Authority’s subsidy, click here.
As of April 19, Malta has 29,966 COVID cases (28,962 have recovered) and 409 deaths.