Gozo awarded for the second consecutive year for the quality of its coastal areas, this time with the Quality Coast Gold Award.
Gozo and Comino classified third from amongst 100 coastal destinations in Europe chosen as sustainable touristic destinations. The Quality Coast Awards has the aim to promote coastal destinations with views and natural landscapes while also incorporating other factors such as culture and identity, natural and cultural heritage and a clean maritime environment.
The Quality Coast Awards are considered as a prestigious honour and are aimed at assisting the tourist operators in promoting sustainable destinations. During the screening, the EUCC (Coastal and Marine Union), the main promoters of the Quality Coast Awards, conduct an extensive evaluation led by independent jury. This exercise is based on 120 different indicators divided in 20 different criteria namely nature, environment, identity, society and economy. More than 800 destinations were evaluated this year with the top 100 being selected. The Azores in Portugal and Lerapatra in Greece classified first and second respectively.
Minister for Gozo, the Hon. Giovanna Debono was presented with this certificate and flag as a symbol of this award from Dr Marlyse Cremers, International Ambassador of the EUCC. This certificate was presented to H.E. Simon Pullicino, Ambassador of Malta to Portugal during an activity held at Torres Vedras in May.
Minister Giovanna Debono explained how this classification is an acknowledgement of all the work carried out in Gozo. This acknowledgment does not reflect positively only on the touristic sector but is also important for the sustainable development of Gozo. This same concept is found in the ecoGozo vision which aims to improve the quality of life for both inhabitants and visitors alike. Minister Debono explained how the Quality Coast Awards criteria match with the aims and objectives of the ecoGozo vision, amongst which one finds the concept of responsible tourism and rural tourism which are being proposed and implemented in Gozo. While expressing her satisfaction for this result, Minister Debono explained how this award is an additional marketing boost for Gozo and Comino as a touristic destination throughout the whole year.
On her part, Dr. Cremers stated that contacts made during the coordination of this project helped also to create an incentive for the establishment of networks of communities with the aim of promoting better and sustainable localities. This is beneficial both for both communities as well as for the tourists that visit them.
This is the second consecutive year that Gozo was nominated to take part in the Quality Coast Awards; with Gozo and Comino being awarded the Bronze Award during last year. This year, in the evaluation process, Gozo and Comino were placed third from the top 100 amongst 800 destinations. The participation of Gozo and Comino in this award was coordinated by the Tourism and Economic Development Directorate within the Ministry for Gozo.