Consultation by the Ministry for Gozo on rural tourism

Copy of MGOZ 24052012 02“All those present here can contribute effectively in what is being planned today in order to provide guidelines for the future”.  This was stated by the Hon. Giovanna Debono, Minister for Gozo during her address to tourist operators, commercial sector and other socio-economic representatives who were present during a consultation meeting regarding the Ministry for Gozo participation in the ICER project (Innovative Concept of Eco-Accommodation Approach in Rural Regions) financed by the Interreg Programm IVC under the European Regional Development Fund.

This project aims to propose recommendations for the strengthening of the rural tourism policy.  This is also in accordance with the European Union policy with regard the development of sustainable rural territories.  This project is in line with the Ministry for Gozo vision of ecoGozo while can be of relevance also within the implementation of the national tourism policy which gives particular attention to Gozo.

Today’s local consultative process is an important phase considered to give a valid contribution to the development of Gozo’s touristic sector both in regional and national level. 

One of the advantages being proposed by the rural tourism policy is that of valorising rural activities.  Gozitan localities and communities can benefit a lot from rural tourism, both those offering accommodation services and other ancillary services.

Minister for Gozo explained how the touristic sector is vital for Gozo’s economy since it offer work opportunities and also generate economic activity in other sectors.  She also expressed her gratitude for initiatives and contribution by Gozitan operators for the benefit of Gozo’s economy.

This consultation meeting is a follow-up of a conference held last November in Gozo when good practices related to rural tourism were identified and suggested to operators to be adopted in other regions. “Apart from benefitting from this project, Gozo is also giving its contribution”, stated Minister Debono.

ICER project is being financed by the INTERREG IVC programme, within the European Regional Development Fnnd (ERDF) with a financement of around €1.8 million.  Ministry for Gozo is partner in this project, along with other entities and rural authorities in France, Slovenia, Spain, Finland, Hungary and Ireland

 24. 05. 2012