Measures announced in Budget related to Gozitan tourism, welcomed by GTA

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Measures announced in Budget related to Gozitan tourism, welcomed by GTAThe Gozo Tourism Association has said in a statement today that it believes that the measures announced in the Budget speech related to the Gozitan tourism are investments in the infrastructure and in human resources on Gozo.

“The fact that Gozo is a distinct destination is once again being acknowledged in this budget by the allocation for another consecutive year of the sum of €500,000 to the Directorate of Tourism and Economic Development, within the Ministry for Gozo, for the promotion of Gozo as a distinct tourist destination.

“Furthermore the sum of €200,000 is being allocated for schemes intended to promote Gozo with the domestic Market, said the GTA.

“This budget is emphasising the connectivity issue with the allocation of €100,000 for the related environmental, economic and social impact studies on a rural/green airfield on Gozo,” the GTA said.

It added that, “the new mooring buoy contemplated in this budget, off Xlendi Coast is also another measure towards connectivity to Gozo with regards to boutique cruise ships, whilst it is hoped that the evaluation of the studies in connection with the yacht marina and the cruise liner terminal will prove to be doable.”

This budget is also acknowledging several proposals put forward by the Gozo Tourism Association, it said, “especially those concerning seasonality and the human resources. The work employment schemes as contemplated in this budget, will encourage the Gozitan establishments to retain their full-time employees even during the winter months.”

“The training schemes between November and March for the employees in the tourism sector are also measures that will mitigate the operating costs to the Gozitan tourism establishments. Furthermore the measure to entice catering establishments to employ ITS students, is an investment in the human resources as well as in a better service standard.”

The Association pointed out that, other measures in this budget include the embellishment works contemplated in the Marsalforn and Xlendi Master Plans and various Gozitan Squares, which will further enhance the tourism product on the island.

However the Gozo Tourism Association is concerned on the increase of 15% on the swimming pool license and will be seeking immediate discussions with Government related to this issue.

Overall, the Gozo Tourism Association said that it notes that this is a realistic and objective budget that is acknowledging Gozo’s tourism needs, whilst addressing them with specific measures.

“Finally the Gozitan tourism sector is looking optimistically forward for the upcoming weekend, during which the Gozo Channel will be operating with its three ferries according to demand offering reduced ferry fare between this Friday and Sunday 21st and 23rd November,” the GTA concluded.

Photograph: Paul Scicluna

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