The Gozo Tourism Association has welcomed the scuttling of the Hephaestus off the south coast of Gozo, saying that its addition effectively makes the site a “hub of underwater wrecks”.
It noted that Hephaestus is the fourth vessel to be scuttled in the area, which was first placed on wreck divers’ maps in 1999 when the association collaborated with Gozo Channel and the Ministry for Gozo to scuttle the ferry MV Xlendi.
That was followed in 2006 with the double scuttling of MV Karwela and the MV Cominoland.
The addition of a fourth underwater wreck continues to enhance the attractive to divers of the island’s south coast, which the GTA said is highly sought after, particularly when the strong north-westerly wind prevails during the diving season.
“This additional scuttling will add more diversity and a different experience to those divers who frequent this site,” the association said, describing it as “an important step towards the enhancement of the Gozitan touristic product, especially during these recovery times for the tourism sector”.
The GTA expressed its belief that the diving market segment on Gozo will reap great benefits from this scuttling, which will continue to consolidate the importance of the niche for the island’s tourism industry.
Divers already have a wide selection of over 50 diving sites off Gozo.
Earlier, Tourism Minister Clayton Bartolo had remarked that divers have an outsized positive impact on the Maltese economy.
“Tourists who come to Malta to dive in our seas typically book longer stays than other tourists,” he said, outlining the Government’s intention to continue strengthening the sector.
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