There are plenty of choices, it is a pity that Gozo is fast losing its place as one of them – Readers Letter
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I am a Canadian who first visited Gozo in 1993 and found a Mediterranean landscape far removed from the atrocities of urban development blighting the Spanish coast or the Algarve in Portugal.
Victoria was sleepy and compact. On the road to Gharb, drivers would stop and ask if you wanted a ride. The landscape – in March terraced with flowers – was expansive and barely interrupted.
I was frankly shocked by how much change there’s been these last 15 years, change which could have been more sensibly managed.
While a new ferry terminal and road might be for the public good (perhaps), the uncontrolled sprawl between Mgarr and Victoria – so all these towns have coalesced – is not. Fast-food outlets, suburban developments, plans to build condos about Ramla Bay, the mushrooming of mass tourist facilities and resorts… it is clear that short-term profit is being put ahead of long-term sustainability and the preservation of the little wilderness that Gozo has left.
If the Malta Tourism Authority wants an explanation for plummeting visitor numbers, it would do well to look at Gozo’s transformation.
Tourists don’t want another swimming pool or casino; they want a beautiful hillside or an undeveloped beach.
Why should I return to Gozo when I can find more pristine landscapes in so many other parts of the Mediterranean?
Next time, I will go walking in the vineyards of Samos, Greece, or boating around the stark Koronati islands in Croatia.
There are plenty of choices. It is a pity that Gozo is fast losing its place as one of them.