40% of businesses operating in the tourism sector in Gozo believe that if the situation of the COVID-19 crisis prevails beyond May 2020, they perceive redundancies. This emerged in a survey conducted by the Gozo Tourism Association (GTA) to understand better the human resources situation amongst the Gozitan tourism sector and how it is being affected by the COVID-19 situation.
The GTA said that survey shows that 24% of the businesses said they will not affect any redundancies whilst 36% are still undecided on what to do.
The response to the survey from Gozitan tourism operators covered a wide range of the tourism sector in Gozo;
- Accommodation sector 48%
- Restaurants 16%
- Diving Centres 11%
- Tourist Attractions 6%
- Transport 11%
- Tour operators, DMCs, Travel Agencies 4%
- Real Estate 2%
- Tourism consultancy firms 2%
The survey also confirmed that the Gozitan tourism sector is based on small and family-run businesses, according to the association which explained how the greater part of the establishments, 67%, that responded to the survey, employ less than 10 employees, while 19% stated that they employ between 10 and 40 employees.
As expected by GTA only 12% of the respondents defined that their establishments employ more than 40 employees.
81% of the respondents declared that they did not affect any redundancies amongst their workforce, even though several sectors are closed or not operating.
This was majorly due to the fact that 77% of survey respondents stated that they are benefitting from the Malta Enterprise Wage Supplement. However, in this regard, 35% of respondents are still waiting to receive the wage supplement payment.
Only 5% did not apply mainly due to the fact that their respective category is not eligible neither under annex A nor annex B.
The survey also shows that 15% of the participants indicated that all their employees are working on reduced hours, 8% have some of the employees on reduced hours while 71% affirmed that their business is presently closed down.
The tourism operators were also asked to list their preferences for further measures to be introduced by the government to assist the tourism sector in Gozo. The sectors suggested a reduction of vat rates on accommodation and tourism related services, reduction in utility bills, reduction in the price of fuel and specific schemes to cover premises rents.
Through the findings of this survey, the Association will review which measures are deemed to be more effective for the Gozitan tourism establishments and assist to mitigate the impact of the pandemic and kickstart recovery efforts.
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