The Scheme directs public financing to licensed enterprises implementing sustainable tourism projects to strengthen their competitiveness.
Before the scheme was introduced, tourism accounted for almost a quarter of Malta’s economic activity and supported about 27% of jobs through the generation of earning from tourism. Over 7000 enterprises in Malta and Gozo were licensed to operate as either accommodation, catering, travel service providers, and diving operators. According to an MTA study, visitors expected more from Malta.

The grant scheme addressed this problem as it aimed to enhance Malta’s competitiveness by giving the tourism industry incentives and direction towards achieving this enhanced level of competitiveness.

The main stakeholders in this grant scheme were tourist SMEs, aiming at generating new and better employment potential, directly affecting the quality of life of the resident population, and having a quality leap in terms of tourism and culture product offer by means of securing new technology, stimulating research development in industry, stimulating the adoption of resource management and environmentally friendly measures and encouraging operational and management processes and procedures leading to quality assured business practices, and overall competitiveness.

On average, each beneficiary received €64,336. The grant scheme facilitated 111 projects by local tourist SMEs, created 513 direct jobs, and saw 84 enterprises adopting new products and processes.

Process in brief: launch of scheme, submission of applications, evaluation, project implementation, project closure.

Resources needed

Financial: EUR7,942,482.19 was budgeted and EUR7,398,611.93 were absorbed.

HR: 4 people (2 implementation executives and 2 financial administrators) were employed through the scheme but there were other government employees who managed and/or assisted in the administration of the scheme.

Evidence of success

In four calls, MOT received 399 applications for funding of which 115 fit the required criteria and were subsequently accepted and received funding.

Successful projects:
Malta Sunripe Ltd - Creation of Agritourism Experience
Dive Systems Ltd. - Improvement of Services & Facilities
Baron Group Ltd. - Upgrade of Gozo farmhouse accomodations
St Lawrenz Operators Ltd. - Upgrading Hotel Kempinski

Difficulties encountered

Sector Challenges and Vulnerability
Staff turnover
Ineligible Expenditure
Regulatory Frameworks, Administrative Processes and Effective Investment

Potential for learning or transfer

This practice is good to transfer as some of its benefits were:
• Development of their tourism offer
• Improved marketing of their offer
• Reduced operational costs
• Adopting ICT applications absorbing new technologies
• Contribution to the environment
• Adopt innvoative and sustainable practices and processes
• Become more entrepeneurial
• Increased turnover and profitability
• The economic development of their sector
• Building on Gozo’s unqiue characters
• Sustain existing jobs whilst increasing the possibility of creating new and better ones
• The increased use of ICT in tourism operators
• An enchanced tourism product
• Development of creative industries

The scheme helped many start-ups and small businesses to invest in important areas which otherwise would not have been possible due to financial contraints. Such areas as Innovation, Environmentally Friendly Measures, ICT and Marketing.

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Main institution
Minisrty for Tourism (MOT)
Malta, Malta
Start Date
June 2009
End Date
June 2015


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