Gozo Worker of the Year Award in Tourism – 2009
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The Gozo Tourism Association organised the second edition of the Gozo Worker of the year Award in Tourism . The award for the year 2009 was won by Mario Mifsud who is 56-years of age, 36 of those years, he has been a worker in the tourism sector. Today, he is in charge of the maintenance section with a key agency in the sector of rental farmhouses in Gozo. The report made by the board, which was led once again by Judge Victor Caruana Colombo, explained how it was not easy for the panel to reach a final decision because the nine people who were all designated have good qualities and are making a valuable contribution in the field of tourism in Gozo.
A Gozo Tourism Association spokesman said that this award was set up in order to reward employees who distinguish themselves in their work in the tourism sector. But in addition to recognising the service given by individuals, this award promotes quality service to complement the tourism product in Gozo. It is therefore the hope of the organisers that that this show of achievment will encourage Gozitan workers to take up careers in this sector that is so important to the socio-economic development in Gozo.
Parliamentary Secretary for Tourism within the Office of the Prime Minister, Mario Demarco, also spoke about the economic importance of tourism to our islands. He mentioned a number of initiatives taken in recent years to help counter the negative impact of the economic crisis that has taken place in the international markets during this year. He also made reference to several particular initiatives taken by the Tourism Authority of Malta to promote Gozo as a distinct tourist destination. He congratulated all those nominated and stressed the importance for human resources in the tourism industry.
Giovanna Debono, the Minister for Gozo, presented the prize to the winner. While addressing those present, she said it meant the fulfillment of valuable work done through cooperation between the Ministry for Gozo and the Gozo Tourism Association that was founded at the initiative of the same Ministry. While welcoming the winner as well as those who were nominated along with so many others who work in this sector in Gozo. Minister Giovanna Debono stressed that the tourism sector needs particular attention and was therefore among the first projects that were undertaken in Gozo through co-financing from European funds. These included the building of the Institute for Tourism Studies, the project of Niche Tourism addressed to the field of diving as well as projects related to heritage such as the Citadel, the Ggantija Temples and museum of Archeology.
During the evening it was also acknowledged that it is the tenth anniversary of the establishment of the Gozo Tourism Association and a look back was taken at the work performed over the ten years. A discussion took place with the current President Mr. Paul Scicluna and Mr Joe Muscat, who has been occupying the post of Secretary General from its establishment of the GTA.
Among the distinguished guests present wre His Excellency Mgr. Mario Grech, Bishop of Gozo, Mr Anton Tabone who was also the first Minister for Gozo, together with Mr Josef Formosa Gauci, Chief Executive of the Malta Tourism Authority.