Incentivising Rural Tourism in Gozo
Workshop Held at the Gozo Experimental Farm
A one-day workshop, intended to bring together people, operating in the Gozo tourism sectors related to local produce and hospitality, has been held at the Gozo Experimental Farm in Xewkija. This workshop was addressed by Ms Carole Favre from ‘Small Matters’ as part of the Ministry for Gozo’s efforts to incentivise rural tourism as a unique integrating experience of the Gozo tourism offer.
Rural tourism is one form of responsible tourism, predominantly preoccupied with maintaining and preserving both cultural and natural heritage assets to improve the lives of local communities whilst offering better tourism experiences. This fits on different levels with the environmental and cultural objectives of Gozo’s strategy to become an eco Island.
This consultancy workshop, held on the 24 November 2014 was offered on an experimental basis and the feedback to this initiative was very positive. Participants from the farming, catering, Bed & Breakfast, adventure tourism, and artisanal sectors interacted actively during the various sessions held during the day. The workshop was organised by the Tourism & Economic Development and the EcoGozo Regional Development Directorates, and officials from both Directorates participated in this event. The workshop was a follow-up on a site visit held in September by the same Carole Favre. During this site visit she had the opportunity to meet operators in the various areas, and actually evaluate Gozo’s potential in rural tourism.
Ms Favre is a boutique business consultant specialising in training small tourism entrepreneurs to access markets and increase revenue from tourism. She has over 12 years teaching and training experience in tourism. Small Matters (http://www.small-matters.net/) has worked with, amongst others, the Travel Foundation, rhp (responsible hospitality partnership), with whom she has trained hotel managers in Turkey and Morocco on efficient resource management; responsibletravel.com, for whom she organised the 10th anniversary of The World Responsible Tourism Awards at the World Travel Market in London; and AITO (Association of Independent Tour Operators), who commissioned her to carry out a strategic review of their sustainable tourism policy, which included designing learning material to reinforce sustainable tourism practice among its 120 members. In addition to several articles and blogs, Carole has also written and designed a manual titled “Are you ready for business: How to sell excursions to UK tour operators”, published by the Travel Foundation and being translated in French and Spanish.