When looking at Gozo as an outsider, one gets the impression that the island already is a separate tourism destination. Hotels of all categories are available as well as a large number of restaurants and tourist attractions. The basic infrastructure for being a separate tourism destination thus is there.
When looking at Gozo tourism figures however, one realizes that Gozo in fact depends on Malta and the day visitors coming over from Malta.
The average length of stay in Gozo of 3.4 days actually shows that Gozo is more of a short break destination. When looking at the overall tourist arrivals on the Maltese Islands, it is only 5% of the tourists that stay longer than 5 days in Gozo. This figure is laso reflected in the average occupancy of Hotels throughout the year of 34%, compared to MaltaÃÂ´s 44% in 2000.
If one were to apportion the tourism revenue generated in Malta to GozoÃÂ´s size and population, a potential figure of around Lm57 million could be generated from tourism in Gozo. The actual figure for 2000 stood at Lm 30 million.
The question that comes up is how this potential can be utilised and what needs to be implied to develop Gozo into a separate tourism destination as to attract tourist for longer periods of time and generate more revenue.
Initially, the tourism market for Gozo would have to be further diversified to that of Malta. In actual fact Gozo, with its combination of rural areas, historic sites and attractive landscaping can easily target other markets than Malta which is more urbanised and does not boast the amount of natural attractions that Gozo has.
To be able to do so however, proper destination management has to be implemented. First and foremeost, it has to...