Malta to pay tourists aged over 65 €100 to go on holiday there

Older holidaymakers to receive a financial incentive for longer stays

Helen Coffey@LenniCoffey
Friday 18 June 2021 12:18
We must be 'careful' with international travel, says Matt Hancock

Malta has pledged to give people aged 65 and over €100 to stay there in a bid to lure back holidaymakers.

The aim is to attract older travellers for longer stays, with only those visiting the island nation for 15 days or more qualifying for the incentive.

Rather than being given cash, eligible travellers will receive €100 (around £85) of vouchers to spend, which can be redeemed at participating restaurants, hotels, shops and service outlets.

Set up by the Malta Tourism Authority, the scheme has a total budget of €1m (£856,000), and vouchers will be available for those holidaying between 18 October and 19 December 2021.

It’s not the first cash-style incentive scheme that the tourism-dependent country has launched to revive its struggling travel industry during the pandemic.

In April, the Malta Tourism Authority announced visitors could get up to €200 (£170) towards their accommodation for stays of three nights or more.

Tourists staying at participating five-star hotels would get €100 (£85) towards the cost of their stay from the Malta Tourism Authority, with the hotel matching the amount, equalling €200 (£170) off in total.

Four-star guests would get a total of €150 (£128) off, while those at three-stars were promised a €100 (£85) incentive.

Those staying on the island of Gozo, 25 minutes off the coast of Malta by ferry, would get an extra 10 per cent off their booking.

“The scheme is aimed at putting Malta's hotels in a very competitive position as international tourism restarts,” tourism minister Clayton Bartolo told Reuters at the time.

With Covid rates far lower than the UK’s and an impressively speedy vaccination programme, Malta was tipped as a dead cert to join the British government’s travel “green list” at the last review.

But Malta was not added to the slim list of countries from where travellers arriving in the UK need not quarantine, and remained amber, along with most of the world.

Holidaymakers returning from Malta are required to self-isolate for 10 days and take two PCR tests on days two and eight of quarantine.

The UK, meanwhile, is on Malta’s amber list, meaning travellers need not quarantine on arrival but are required to present a negative Covid PCR test certificate before boarding a flight to the archipelago.

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