Thousands flocked to the charming island of Gozo for the first long weekend of the Maltese summer. Chief Executive of the Gozitan Tourism Association Joe Muscat told Television Malta that Maltese tourists would help alleviate the losses that the Gozo tourism industry had suffered due to the COVID19 pandemic.
We are still at the beginning of summer but the first long weekend which coincides with the public feast of Imnarja, has encouraged many to go to Gozo. With this year’s extraordinary circumstances due to the pandemic and with airports and flights grounding to a halt, it is only natural that domestic tourism would be bolstered, with many choosing Gozo as their destination of choice for a few days of rest and relaxation.
The exodus of the Maltese to the island of Gozo, well before the feast of Santa Maria, has jump-started economic activity in Gozo even before the activities scheduled by the Ministry for Gozo.
During the first weekend of summer 2020 – the first long weekend to boot – the picturesque beaches of Gozo, including Ramla l-Ħamra, were full of bathers and boats. The same can be said of the other beaches, which were also crowded. This brought added value not only to places of accommodation but also to restaurants and liquor stores which after the last few difficult months seemed packed with customers. This was confirmed by the Chief Executive of the Gozitan Tourism Association Joe Muscat. “We have Maltese staying in self catering accommodation, such as farmhouses and a good number staying in hotels and there are also Maltese who own a second property in Gozo.”
Mr Muscat said the Maltese tourist would help ease the burden brought about by the covid-19 pandemic.
Contacted by Television Malta, the Chief Executive of Gozo Channel Joe Cordina confirmed that this was a great weekend for the company. He said that to keep up with demand, the Gozo Channel is shuttle operating its three ships during the busiest hours. He announced that from next Thursday the fourth ship, the MV Nikolaos, which had ceased to be used due to the restrictions imposed during the pandemic, would resume service.