The Malta Independent 2 August 2021, Monday

Accommodation and MICE sector to benefit from new Covid-19 tourism schemes – Clayton Bartolo

Friday, 16 April 2021, 16:27 Last update: about 5 months ago

Tourism Minister Clayton Bartolo further announced two new schemes aimed at supporting the accommodation sector as well as the meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) sector.

Addressing a press conference on Friday, Bartolo said the first scheme is aimed at supporting the accommodation sector. These include guest houses, boutique hotels, 2-star hotels, hostels and holiday furnished premises (self-catering apartments - villas and farmhouses).

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"A budget of €1.5 million has been allocated to this scheme, he said."

The second scheme that Bartolo announced today, is dedicated to MICE - the sector which includes conferences, meetings, incentives and exhibitions. "A budget of €4 million will be allocated to this sector."

Bartolo explained what the two new schemes entail, in more detail.

He said that with regards to the first scheme, aimed at supporting accommodation, "guesthouses and boutique hotels will be given a total of €1,000 per establishment to be spent on marketing."

"2-star hotels will also be given a total amount of €500 per establishment to assist them in their marketing strategy, whilst holiday furnished premises and licensed hostels will be given €250 for every property. This will support them to develop their marketing with the aim of attracting tourists to the island," Bartolo said.

He explained that eligible applications can apply through the MTA. Applicants will be asked to present documents which will serve as proof that the money given will be spent.

"We aim to help establishments to strengthen their marketing strategy, even from a digital aspect."

Moving on to the second scheme which is dedicated to the MICE sector, Bartolo explained that those who organize activities held in Malta can also benefit through an application.

"Submitted applications will be based on a first-come, first-served basis and it will accept activities that will happen this year as well as in 2022. Moreover, applicants will be asked to submit the signed contracts, confirming that the activity will be held in Malta or Gozo. The commencement date of the contract needs to be dated from today onwards," he said.

Bartolo also explained that if the local expenditure is less than €600 - €800 per person, an incentive of €75 will be given to each person. On the other hand, if the local expenditure exceeds the €800, the incentive on each delegate will be of €150.

He added that there must also be a minimum number of 10 participants in the conference, who must spend at least two nights in Malta. The contribution will be paid after the activity has taken place in Malta.

More details of this scheme will be announced in a technical website organized by MTA.

Throughout the week, Minister Bartolo announced other incentives for the hospitality industry. These include the new scheme which involves giving tourists who book a summer holiday to Malta directly through local hotels a financial handout, as well as five new air routes which will start operating in Malta in conjunction with Ryanair this summer.

Malta Tourism Authority (MTA) chairman Gavin Gulia, who was also present at the press conference, said that the Covid-19 pandemic affected every sector in Malta, and the tourism sector was no exception because it was affected in all its niches.

"The MTA will be assisting holiday furnished premises, tourist villages, guesthouses, hostels, 2-star hotels as well as the conference sector," Gulia said.

Minister Tourism Bartolo said that it is gratifying that the first two schemes announced last week - free individual traveler and tour operators - have generated great interest and discussion both on a local and international level.

"No less than 75% of hotels that are eligible for a free individual traveler have contacted the MTA regarding this scheme. This goes to show that this will be a successful one," he said.

Bartolo explained that hotels will be given more information about this scheme in the coming days, whilst a number of webinars will be organized by the MTA to provide the necessary information. 


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