The tourism sector in Gozo needs to look beyond the Covid-19 pandemic, and the upcoming budget should help facilitate this process, according to the Gozo Tourism Association.
In its budget proposals, the GTA noted that tourism in Gozo was on an upward trend in recent years, only for this to be brought to an end by the pandemic.
The association was thus calling for mitigating measures which would eventually pave the way for a restart and recovery of tourism.
Its budget proposals focus on five main priorities, namely connectivity, fiscal measures, marketing, the tourism product and human resources.
To improve connectivity, among other measures, the GTA called for reduced ferry fares during winter, the reintroduction of a helicopter services and the setting up of cruise liner berthing buoys. It also called for the construction of a ring road around Victoria and for parking spaces to be created in various localities.
The association is calling for the waiving of various licence fees next year, and for the voucher scheme to be relaunched in winter. Additionally, it believes that VAT on accommodation should be reduced to 5%.
A strong international marketing campaign is also suggested, along with a carrying capacity assessment for Gozo. To help address the loss of cultural activities, the GTA proposes the promotion of new tourist activities, such as adventure, walking and wellbeing.
A number of training schemes are also being suggested, as well as the launch of a scheme through which licensed tourism establishments could upgrade their offering.