You Can Get Paid to Visit This European Island

Malta hopes financial incentives will bring tourism back

Malta, Valletta at dusk
Sylvain Sonnet / Getty Images

As vaccinated travelers worldwide scramble to book summer vacations, the island nation of Malta is working hard to be the top place on their must-visit lists. As the Mediterranean destination gears up to lift most COVID-related restrictions by June 1, it's offering financial incentives for foreign visitors to book a trip there—up to 200 euros (about $240).

But as with all sorts of handouts, you won't simply be given your prize. There's a lot of fine print attached to this deal, in particular. First, visitors must stay for at least three days to receive any payout. Second, the total amount you'll receive is based upon the type of hotel you stay at. And third, you must book directly with the hotel to receive any cash.

The system works thusly: guests who book a three-night stay (or longer) directly with a five-star hotel will receive 100 euros from the Malta Tourism Authority, plus a matching amount from the hotel itself. Guests who do the same at a four-star hotel will receive a total of 150 euros; a stay at a three-star hotel will net just 100 euros altogether. The same rates apply for hotels on the Maltese island of Gozo, with an additional bonus of 10 percent.

“The scheme is aimed at putting Malta’s hotels in a very competitive position as international tourism restarts,” Malta's tourism minister Clayton Bartolo said on Friday, according to Reuters.

Tourism comprises 15.8 percent of Malta's economy, so it's no surprise that the country is pushing for a strong post-COVID comeback this summer. Regardless of the financial incentive, the destination remains a pretty ideal vacation spot, with gorgeous luxe hotels, a robust nightlife scene, and dramatic seaside landscapes.