Tourists who arrive in Malta for diving activities will each be gifted a €100 voucher while organisers of sports events will receive €100 for every foreign participant, the Tourism Minister said on Friday.

The vouchers will be handed out as part of two new schemes aimed at niche tourism markets as part of the government’s business recovery plan for the tourism industry.

The first is a €100 voucher scheme aimed at divers, with a budget of €750,000. Travellers can apply for the vouchers through the Malta Tourism Authority and they will be dispensed via email.

The vouchers can be spent at diving shops listed on the MTA website.

With the aim of targeting a maximum of 7,500 tourists, Bartolo said the scheme would indirectly generate a further €12 million in economic activity, with around €3 million generated in Gozo alone.

The second scheme, allocated a €1.5 million budget, is aimed at organisers of sport events, who will be eligible for a €100 voucher for every foreign participant who arrives from overseas.

The scheme will open on June 1 to practitioners of sports activities accredited by Sports Malta.

Earlier this month Bartolo launched a similar scheme for tourists booking summer holidays directly through local hotels. MTA allocated €3.5million for the scheme that could see tourists receive up to €200 depending on where they book their stay. 

On Friday the minister called for caution as the country continues to relax measures, saying it was not the time to lose control and abdicate responsibility.

“Our country cannot afford to halt a gradual reopening - our economic recovery depends on it,” Bartolo said.

Travel to UK to resume on June 1

Asked by Times of Malta whether the resumption of travel to the UK was on the cards for the summer, Bartolo said discussions were at an advanced stage.

“Discussions with the UK are ongoing and are at an advanced stage. Technical issues largely surround the implementation and recognition of vaccine certificates. We can expect to be travelling to the UK again from June 1,” Bartolo said.

Reacting on Friday afternoon, the Gozo Tourism Association welcomed the measures saying that diving holidays accounted for an estimated 20 per cent of foreign overnight stays in Gozo.

“GTA believes that the diving scheme will prove beneficial for the 15 diving centres in Gozo. Diving was one of the worst-hit segments,” it said in a statement.

“GTA is confident that these measures will stimulate operations in the diving and sports sectors while motivating divers and sports enthusiasts to choose the Maltese islands to practice their respective discipline this coming season.”

The Association of Catering Establishments welcomed the idea and said Malta would have to tap niche tourism markets such as these to maximise its tourism opportunities. 

Sign up to our free newsletters

Get the best updates straight to your inbox:
Please select at least one mailing list.

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By subscribing, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing.