Ecotourism and Gozo
Ecotourism Networking Event in Gozo
The Ministry for Gozo, in collaboration with the German-Maltese Business Council within the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry, and with the support of the German Embassy in Malta and the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen, organised a business meeting about eco/rural tourism and sustainable business practices in the sector. The event is part of a GMBC full-day programme that started today in Gozo at Vini e Capricci, and proceed to Malta in the afternoon.
Minister for Gozo Anton Refalo welcomed this Ecotourism Networking event. Minister Refalo noted that travellers value the intrinsic experiences they can gain from destinations, as holidays move from packaged deals to planned stays according to their own special interest travels. There is surely great potential for the ecotourism sector in Gozo. Gozo has had successful stories with this business approach, though much potential remains untapped.
The Ministry for Gozo believes that ecotourism is a sustainable form of further business development which can generate growth on the island. Gozo’s well-promoted tourism niches, namely rural, religious, diving and adventure tourism supported by a better organised local enogastronomic experience have the potential to sustain a growing ecotourism industry, with the added value of increasing destination awareness.
Valuing what is local and encouraging sustainable growth is an objective that we fully support, and the Ministry for Gozo is there to help all stakeholders involved. Our commitment, noted Minister Refalo, “is to continue promoting this island, to strengthen an economic segment that contributes in no small way to the development of the island, and to send a clear message to investors that they have our full support.”
Ecotourism is about low-impact tourism, with a special interest on rural activity which benefits and respects local communities. Gozo is often associated with this kind of tourism due to the environmental and cultural preservation the island offers, as well as its rural characteristics and traditions that together shape the island’s unique identity. There is growing evidence that quality tourism is increasing, as discerning travellers seek more authenticity in their travel experiences. Businesses are fast learning that rural and ecological practises in tourism are opportunities with significant economic benefits. There are fine examples in Gozo of entrepreneurs who have been proactive and successful in grasping this change.