The Malta Independent 5 August 2021, Thursday

Gozo’s tourism industry experienced a ‘very good’ long weekend

Shona Berger Wednesday, 30 June 2021, 07:43 Last update: about 2 months ago

Gozo’s tourism industry experienced a ‘very good’ long weekend, the Gozo Tourism Association’s CEO Joe Muscat told the Malta Independent.

Over the past year, tourism was among the sectors most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, due to travel restrictions as well as other precautionary measures. A Eurostat statistic has shown that among EU Member states, Malta’s tourism industry suffered the hardest blow when compared to the previous year with an 80% decrease. The data also showed that overall, European tourism during the Covid-19 pandemic plummetted to 61%.

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Speaking with the Malta Independent, Muscat noted that due to the public holiday on 29 June, many people decided to take a day of leave, turning it into a long weekend.

As a result, he said that overall, Gozo experienced “a very good and positive weekend. It was also a step forward for the tourism sector as it seeks to facilitate a robust recovery.”

“We can only hope that Gozo will continue having busy weekends like this one as the island’s tourism sector really needs it,” Muscat said.

Asked for an overview as to what it was like in Gozo in terms of tourism, Muscat remarked that they knew from the start that tourism on the island would increase when compared to other weekends, primarily due to it being an extended weekend.

“Although a number of restrictions have been eased in terms of traveling, many people are still skeptical and do not feel safe to travel to another country just yet. Consequently, people opt to take a holiday break and visit Gozo instead,” Muscat said.

He also noted that Gozo seems to be slowly welcoming foreign tourists.

“Over the weekend, we have seen tourists visiting mostly from countries such as Germany, France and Italy. Following the recent report in which Malta was added to UK’s green travel list, we are also gradually seeing a strong interest from the British market,” Muscat said.

He added that “another important point which impacts Gozo’s tourism is the fact that many Maltese people have private property on the island of Gozo.” Although this is not felt much within the accomodation sector, the people who visit Gozo but reside in their own property still contribute and turn the econimic wheel in other sectors including restaurants, retail outlets or traditional Gozitan bakeries.

“This is an internal part of tourism, which although does not affect the accomadation sector, its still creating that economic activity on our island in some way or another,” Muscat said.

 

 

 

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