Malta Will Pay for Part of Your Trip This Summer

Get a discount for spending time on a Mediterranean island.

malta paying for hotels
Editor's Note: We know COVID-19 is continuing to impact your travel plans. As of April 2021, official guidance from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention states that fully vaccinated people can travel at low risk, though safety precautions are still required. Should you need to travel, be sure to familiarize yourself with the CDC's latest guidance as well as local requirements/protocols/restrictions for both your destination and home city upon your return. Be safe out there.

The gorgeous Mediterranean island of Malta is looking to welcome travelers again this summer by offering perks to anyone looking to enjoy its ancient temples, beautiful beaches, and the narrow, alluring streets of Valletta. 

The Malta Tourism Authority wants to bring 35,000 visitors to the islands with the added motivation through its new "Incentives for Free Independent Travellers" program. The Authority has put $4.2 million (€3.5m) toward chipping in on the costs travelers face. You can get up to about $120 per person when you're staying for a minimum of three nights starting in June. 

To get the perks, you'll have to apply and you're going to have to stay in a five-, four-, or three-star hotel. The Malta Tourism Authority's website says it will offer about $120 (€100) per person if you're staying at a five-star hotel. That drops to about $90 (€75) per person, and about $60 (€50) if you're staying at a participating three-star hotel. The hotels that are part of the program are expected to match what the Authority is providing each tourist, allowing the traveler to spend that on accommodations, food, or other services at the hotel.

You'll find a lot of travelers staying in Valletta and Sliema, but if you travel to the smaller island of Gozo (you need to take a ferry to get there), tourists will get an extra 10% added onto the incentive.

However, a representative from the Malta Tourism Authority tells Thrillist that each hotel will have its own terms and conditions for travelers to get the money, which essentially amounts to a discount on their hotel room (cash is not distributed). Those terms and conditions could include a minimum number of nights you have to stay, according to the representative.

Malta is not open to all foreign travelers right now. However, the country's current plan for "exit from partial lockdown" includes opening up to tourism by June 1. This program will start on that date and run until the Authority has used up the program's budget. The representative tells Thrillist that at that time, you'll be able to get the perk by booking directly through hotels that are part of the program. It won't apply if you book through a third-party booking company. The representative also said that a list of hotels is expected to be available through the Authority's website starting on May 15. It's certainly not a free trip, but it's going to make it a lot more alluring to splurge on a hotel, especially along the beaches of Gozo.

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Dustin Nelson is a Senior Staff Writer at Thrillist. Follow Dustin Nelson on Twitter.
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