Record number of 80,000 passengers cross for Gozo Carnival
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A record number of more than 80,000 passengers crossed the channel during the Gozo Carnival celebrations, an increase of about 10,000 passenger, nearly 14% more than 2016.
These figures were announced by Minister for Tourism Edward Zammit Lewis and the Minister for Gozo Anton Refalo.
They added that these figures are complemented by the fact that over the weekend there were 20 more trips made by Gozo Channel compared to the same period last year.
The Minister for Gozo, Anton Refalo reiterated how such results confirm that Gozo has become an all year round tourist destination Adding that the Gozitan economy has benefited from this influx of visitors in the last few days.
“Local and foreign visitors at these times of the year continues to strengthen business. This also encourages those working in the tourism sector to invest more.”
Minister Refalo thanked everyone for their part in the organisation of the carnival celebrations helping it once again to be such a great success. He also praised the work of those employees who have worked long hours to offer visitors an efficient service.
The Minister also said that the Ministry for Gozo is preparing a varied programme of festivities following Easter for all those who will visit Gozo in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, the Minister for Tourism Edward Zammit Lewis said that 2016 will be remembered as a record year for tourism in Gozo, when international visitors reached 1.150 million, an increase of more than 13% over 2015.
He added that the number of foreign visitors to Gozo grew by almost 340,000 since the beginning of this legislature, an increase of 42% over 2012.
The Minister for Tourism also stressed the importance of domestic tourism for the island of Gozo. “The success of Gozo Carnival 2017, is due to a strong economy which leads to more `disposable income meaning that Maltese have more spending money in Gozo.
He said that the second factor is that the Gozitan private sector believes in this and is investing heavily. “Finally, having total synergy in the Government where not only is there a Ministry for Gozo, but that the whole Government is focused on Gozo.
In conclusion the Minister highlighted that during this year there will be new hotels opening in Gozo including two Boutique Guest Houses and Hotels in Victoria and Sannat. “Such is the sign of complete confidence from the private sector in the local tourism industry.”
Photograph: MGOZ/George Scerri