Malta will pay tourists up to £173 each for holidaying in the country this summer

Malta is offering to pay holidaymakers up to £173 each this summer to encourage tourists to return.

Popular holiday destinations have struggled during the pandemic due to travel restrictions resulting in closed borders and bans on trips abroad.

Malta, which had more than 2.7million visitors in 2019, saw visitor numbers fall by 80 per cent in 2020 - but hopes the new scheme could encourage as many as 35,000 tourists to return.

The tiny island is launching the new scheme, offering tourists up to €200 (£173) if they book at least two nights at a local hotel, the tourism minister has announced.

How much holidaymakers would get depends on the hotel - a five-star property would get you the full €200 while this goes down to €150 for a four-star hotel and €100 for a three-star hotel.

However, book a hotel on Gozo, an island in Malta and you get an extra 10 per cent.

Tourism Minister Clayton Bartolo confirmed: "The scheme is aimed at putting Malta’s hotels in a very competitive position as international tourism restarts."

Holidays are yet to be given the go-ahead by the UK government, although have confirmed that a traffic light system will be used to open up some countries for Brits this summer.

The holiday island is one of the most likely to become a "green list" country due to it being one of the leading destinations in Europe for the vaccine rollout - 42 per cent have been given the first jab - while continuing to have low Covid cases.

Malta announced earlier this month that fully vaccinated Brits can return from June 1 without needing a test or to quarantine on arrival.

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