Tourists over the age of 65 arriving in Malta during the winter months for a long holiday will receive €100 vouchers to be used in outlets all over the island. 

Such ‘long-stay’ tourists are eligible for the vouchers if they book a holiday for a minimum stay of 15 nights in Malta between October 15 and December 19. 

The latest scheme was announced by Tourism Minister Clayton Bartolo, who said tourists would individually receive €100 vouchers to spend in any outlets that accept the government vouchers

The tourists will be handed four red vouchers worth €15 each to be used in restaurants and tourist establishments (hotels, diving centres, etc) and four blue vouchers of €10 each exchangeable in retail and beauty outlets. 

“This scheme is part of the €20 million aid package to kickstart the industry, and is expected to generate €5 million back into the Maltese economy,” Bartolo said. 

This is the seventh tourist scheme the government has announced in recent weeks as part of efforts to boost the economy, he said. 

How will the scheme work?

Outlining details of the €1 million incentive, Bartolo said the Malta Tourism Authority will be sending an amount of individual barcodes to each tour operator participating in the scheme.

Each barcode will have a value of €100. 

Tour operators will provide one barcode to each person who books a minimum stay of 15 nights in Malta and Gozo. 

“Upon arrival in Malta, tourists need to go to the Visit Malta Tourist Information Office, either at the Malta International Airport or the main office in Triton Square, Valletta.” 

He said the tourist is required to present the barcode, a copy of their flight ticket and passport to confirm the duration of their stay. 

MTA representatives will exchange the €100 value barcode and provide the tourist with physical vouchers to be used in chosen outlets accepting the government vouchers. 

He said the scheme is specifically targeted at individuals over 65 because they are the tourists who are more likely to book long-term holidays, especially during the winter months.

Speaking at the conference, MTA chairman Gavin Gulia said the local tour operators and hotels have seen a positive interest from abroad since the announcement of the different schemes and incentives. 

“We want Malta to not only be an ideal summer destination, but to be a key destination throughout the year, especially during the shoulder months,” Gulia said. 

UK bilateral talks still ongoing

Meanwhile, Bartolo said talks with a number of different countries on mutual recognition of COVID-19 vaccine certificates are still under way.

Back in April, he announced that Malta and the UK had begun bilateral talks on creating a digital vaccine certificate. 

"Talks are still ongoing and we need to ensure that once we do reach a bilateral agreement, we do not risk losing all the sacrifices we have done as country to fight this pandemic," Bartolo said. 

Asked whether Malta not making it on the UK's Green List has delayed such agreements, he said there is no connection between the two issues and again said discussions are still ongoing. 

"The health department is also included in such talks, because health remains a key priority for us, as we try to find the perfect balance between health and the recuperation of our tourism sector."

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