Malta targets 1 June for tourism recovery with plan to attract 'free, independent travellers'

Tourism Minister Clayton Bartolo said that Malta will seek to attract as many tourists as possible to help contribute to recovery

Tourism Minister Clayton Bartolo launching Malta's Tourism Recovery Plan at a press conference
Tourism Minister Clayton Bartolo launching Malta's Tourism Recovery Plan at a press conference

Malta's Tourism Recovery Plan will seek to attract tourism activity to Malta, with a funding injection worth €20 million for the industry.

One aspect of the plan involves attracting free independent travellers (FITs). These are travellers who plan their own trips and opt to travel alone or in small groups, as opposed to mass tourism strategies that rely on large groups and travel packages.

"We will first be looking to attract FITs from the European market [...] Our aim is to attract as many tourists as possible to contribute to recovery," Tourism Minister Clayton Bartolo explained.

He acknowledged that the recovery plan will not depend on Malta alone but also on the situation in other countries. "But we're responsible for what happens here, and we need to be cautious," he said.

Bartolo pointed out that the schemes will not only target FITs, with further schemes to be announced over the next few weeks.

Regarding use the Digital Green Certificate, the minister reassured that it won't lead to discrimination between those who have received the vaccine and those who fall further behind in the vaccination queue. 

"The Green Certificate won't be the only way someone can travel - you can use negative PCR tests taken hours before travelling. These appear to be the two favourite options at EU level and for Malta, with discussions with the Superintendent of Public Health confirming this," he said.

In terms of marketing, Bartolo said that tourism authorities will be making use of traditional and digital media to attract tourists. The ministry will also seek to maximise the return of Manchester United brand partnership.

When asked about the UK and any decisions to remove it from Malta's red travel list, Bartolo explained that the choice to remove or add the UK to any lists depends not only on the Maltese authorities but also on international bodies. 

"The success of this plan doesn't only depend on government, the tourism ministry, or tourism authorities - it depends on each and every one of us. It's the success of Malta and Gozo."