Saturday, 2 February 2008

Job Opportunites for Gozitans (4)

I fully recognize that an important characteristic of the economy of Gozo is its dependence on tourism. Being a Gozitan myself, I am also aware of the challenges Gozo faces in this regard and would like to share with you what I envisage as some possible creative solutions.

Gozo attracts many thousands of Maltese visitors and about half a million international tourists (mostly day-trippers) yearly. The four main types of tourists visiting Gozo, namely:
(a) international tourists who spend most of their visit in Gozo,
(b) international tourists who visit Gozo as day-trippers,
(c) Maltese visitors who visit Gozo for a few days annually and
(d) Gozitan emigrants, who sometimes stay in Gozo for a few months, mostly in summer.

The main challenge within the tourism industry in Gozo relates to seasonality. For instance, the bulk of tourists visit Gozo during the summer months, and this gives rise to seasonal fluctuations, with a very high level of demand in summer and very slack demand in the winter and colder months.

One needs to realize that the prices of the tourist establishments and tourist services has gone up, while standard of services still leaves much to be desired. From a Green perspective, I look at the tourist industry from a much wider perspective than the traditional politics which seem to be stagnated, perhaps because it is more preoccupied in exploiting this sector from a conventional approach. Unfortunately and sadly I still hear people saying that tourists visit our island because of the sun and sea. Such comments show that these people have no idea about the effects of climate change even in the tourist industry. They still think that only Malta and Gozo got the fine weather.

Hence I believe that we need urgently to move from conventional tourism and develop niche market tourism such as eco-tourism, agro-tourism, bird-watching holidays, walking holidays and adventure tourism, culture and heritage holidays, religion holidays, wellness holidays and marine eco-tourism amongst others. Please do click on these links and see the wide range of job opportunities related to such initiatives. These and other can all offer creative solutions to develop this sector and create a range of job opportunities for Gozitans and address the seasonality issue.

The ideas are there. What is needed is the political will. Where is that? I know. You know.

I'm happy to share some other ideas with you soon....then let's call it Job Opportunities for Gozitans (5).

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