Malta will pay tourists to go on holiday there this summer in bid to revive tourism industry
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 travellers 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 hotel. If there are multiple people on a booking, each person will each receive that money.
In addition, hotels in the scheme must match the contribution by the Malta Tourism Authority. So a person booking into a five-star hotel will get €200 in total to spend on accommodation, food and other services within the hotel.
Visitors booking onto hotels in the island of Gozo will be paid an additional 10% of the money.
The scheme only applies to "free individual travellers" - meaning people who plan their own trips rather than booking a travel package.
The tourism authority has allocated €3.5 million to the scheme and it is expected to bring more than 35,000 tourists to the country.
In late March, the authority said it would welcome UK travellers who have been fully vaccinated from June 1.
Tolene Van Der Merwe, director for the UK and Ireland at Malta Tourism Authority, said at the time: "Malta is a very popular destination for British holidaymakers and is a key contributor to Malta's economy, so we are excited to welcome back fully vaccinated travellers from the United Kingdom from 1 June.
"The people of Malta are looking forward to tourists returning who have loved our sunshine, culture, food and warm spirit year in, year out."
Under Boris Johnson's roadmap out of lockdown announced on February 22, the earliest that Brits will be allowed to go on holidays abroad is May 17.
When international travel is allowed in the UK, there will be a traffic light system to show the requirements for testing and quarantine. It is not yet known whether Malta will be in the green, amber or red list.
As of April 13, Malta is second to the UK in terms of European countries which have vaccinated the largest proportion of their population, according to data company Statista.