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‘Malteser Pleaser’: Here’s How The International Press Reacted To Malta’s Attractive €200 Holiday Package

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Malta’s new policy to give foreign tourists €200 if they stay in Malta under certain conditions was met with glee by the international media.

It wasn’t just a British radio host saying he’s about to book a holiday to the island after the proposal went global, but some of the leading newspapers and media houses around the world.

The MTA policy would see anyone coming from abroad and staying at a five-star hotel getting €100 from the government and another €100 from the hotel, with lower amounts given to hotels with lower stars. Bookings must be a minimum of three nights and must be made directly through the hotel’s system.

1. Italy’s La Repubblica praised Malta’s vaccination campaign, saying it was “proceeding well”. 

What they said: “From 1st June the island reopens to travel with an incentive program for the first 35,000 visitors: bonuses are to be spent directly in hotels to improve accommodation, pay for lunches and dinners or add a night.”

“It will be a credit to be spent in the structure, not real money: so, for the same budget, you could, for example, choose to improve the quality of the accommodation, treating yourself to an upgrade of the room and accommodation or maybe add an extra night, donated by the Maltese state and the hoteliers.

2. And the UK’s ITV noted that you’d be able to get an extra 10% if you spend time in Gozo.

What they said: “In an effort to revive its tourism industry after more than a year of the pandemic, Malta has launched a scheme to pay holidaymakers visiting this summer. The country’s tourism authority will pay foreign travelers up to €100 (£87) when they book to stay at a hotel for at least three nights from June.”

“The amount of money paid to each person will depend on the star rating of the hotel they are staying in. Announcing the scheme on Friday, 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.”

“Tourists can get €100 per person on every booking at a five-star hotel, €75 for a four-star hotel, and €50 for a three-star hotel. If there are multiple people on a booking, each person will each receive that money.”

3. Reuters noted that Malta had the highest virus vaccination rate in the European Union.

What they said: “Aiming to revive its tourism industry and get ahead of rival destinations, Malta plans to offer foreign visitors a handout of up to 200 euros ($238.10) each if they stay at least three days on the Mediterranean island this summer.”

“World Travel and Tourism Council data show the tourist industry directly and indirectly accounts for more than 27% of Malta’s economy, but the sector has been hammered by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

4. And Italy’s Il Messeggaro noted that the country had attracted 2.7 million foreign visitors in 2019, but that the numbers have since fallen by 80%.

What they said: “Figures from the World Travel and Tourism Council show that the tourism industry accounts for over 27% of Malta’s economy. With the pandemic, the sector has been penalised: the country attracted over 2.7 million foreign visitors in 2019, but the numbers have fallen by more than 80% since the virus was detected in March 2020.”

With tourism expected to resume in June, and policies like this aimed to incentivise tourists, the island can expect to see more international coverage as it attempts to return to some semblance of normality.

Do you like the effort Malta is making to attract tourists over the summer?

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Johnathan is interested in the weird, wonderful, and sometimes dark realities late capitalist society forces upon us all. He also likes food and music. Follow him at @supreofficialmt on Instagram, and send him news, food and music stories at [email protected]

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