The government of Malta has announced that tourists can receive up to 220 euro cash if they opt to visit the island for holiday this summer.
According to the Times of Malta, the national government of the Mediterranean island has allocated a 3.5 million euro budget to boost tourism with the unusual handout scheme.
Some 35,000 tourists can benefit from the scheme as long as they book their stay directly at the booking system of a local hotel and not through third party booking websites.
With the scheme, the local government hopes to help the local tourism sector to recover from the current corona virus pandemic.
Foreign visitors booking a stay at a five-star hotel will get 100 euro each from the Maltese government. Each government handout will be matched by the hotel, which means that each visitor could earn 200 euro when visiting Malta on holiday.
If you opt for a four-star hotel you are entitled to receive 75 euro (150 euro when matched by the hotel) while a stay at a three-star hotel will earn you 50 euro (100 euro in total after the payment is matched by the hotel).
Tourists who decide to visit the smaller island of Gozo will receive an additional 10 percent, which means that they can earn up to 220 euro in total when visiting Malta on holiday.
According to local media, the payments will be handed out in full by the hotel on arrival. Only visitors who book a hotel stay of at least three nights will be eligible.
Maltese Tourism Minister Clayton Bartolo also announced that a further 3 million euro will be given to travel agencies. These funds will go toward marketing campaigns to lure tourists from all over Europe to Malta.
The Malta Tourism Authority has already signed agreements with 75 travel agencies for this, among which European travel giants such as TUI.
Although the cash handout to tourists might seem unusual, Malta is not the first country to lure travellers with a cash incentive.
Last year, the regional government of Sicily offered to pay for flights and cover accommodation costs of tourists who decided to take a holiday on the Italian island in a hard-to-refuse offer.
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