Tourism license fees cancelled for 2021 in government bid to prop up industry

In a scheme valued at €4 million, tourism minister Clayton Bartolo announced that operators in the tourism industry will not have to pay MTA license fees for 2021

Tourism minister Clayton Bartolo
Tourism minister Clayton Bartolo

Operators in the tourism industry have been excempt from paying any licenses and fees due to the Malta Tourism Authroity for all of 2021, tourism minister Clayton Bartolo announced today.

This scheme is one of a number of measures introduced by the government in a bid to prop up the industry as the country prepares to fully open its doors to tourists again from 1 June.

Bartolo said that the 10,000 or so operators and businesses in local tourism industry will be saving €4 million that would have otherwise been due to the MTA. The fees for 2021 are not being deferred but written off completely.

Businesses which will benefit from this scheme include hotels, guesthouses, hostels, self-catering, restaurants, bars, travel agents, tourist villages, take-aways, kiosks, nightclubs, self-drive car and motorcycle hire, coaches, mini-buses, taxis, garage hire, diving centres, souvenir shops and language schools.

With regards to language schools, Bartolo said the government would be announcing additional measures directly affecting this sector next week.

As to what to expect come 1 June, Bartolo said the government was not being guided by tourist target figures but was instead focusing on guiding the industry back to a sound footing and profitability.

“Operators are reporting encouraging interest, but situation remains very fluid,” he told MaltaToday. “That is why we, and the MTA, will be closely following local and international developments so as to be able to adjust our marketing strategy as necessary.”

Bartolo said the country was on track to be one of the first to introduce a COVID-19 vaccination certidicate system, possibly the Digital Green Pass being discussed on EU level.

“We will await the outcome of the EU discussion on the Green Pass, but we will definitely be one of the first countries to adopt a certification system,” he said. “Hopefully this will come about before 1 June.”

The Gozo Tourism Association statement

The Gozo Tourism Association (GTA) said it welcomed the waiver of all licenses and fees due to the Malta Tourism Authority for 2021.

“The renouncing of all these licenses by the Malta Tourism Authority is an encouraging measure, aimed directly to the tourism operators, who had to face really tough times during the past fourteen months,” the authority said.

The GTA said it appreciated the measures and the commitment and understanding from the Tourism Ministry and the MTA during these difficult times.

The authority said it was also appealing to the authorities and government entities to wavier the operating licenses and fees due to tourism licensed operators.