Confirming a sentiment felt across the board, for Gozo’s hospitality and catering businesses, 2021 was overall a better year than 2020, however the disruptions that emerged in the recent festive period meant that many reported same or worse levels of business for the same holiday period in 2020.

During the past fortnight, the Gozo Tourism Association conducted an online survey amongst its members focusing on the performance of the Gozitan tourism establishments during 2021, the festive season, as well as on issues related to human resources.

The encouraging response to this survey from Gozitan tourism operators covered a spread across the tourism sector on Gozo.

The categories that filled in the survey were coming from the Accommodation sectors, Restaurants, Diving Centres, Tourist Attractions, Transport, Tour operators, DMCs, Travel Agencies, Real Estate and Tourism Consultancy firms.

The survey confirmed the obvious effect on the business generated by the Gozitan tourism establishments during the past year, showing encouraging signs that 2021 ended up better than 2020.

In fact, 68 per cent of the establishments reported more business on previous year, with 24 per cent stating that their performance was equal to that of 2020, while 8 per cent reported less business than year 2020.

This improvement was corroborated further when 61 per cent of respondents declared that the performance of the foreign market on their business was better than that of 2020, with 27 per cent stating that the performance of this market was equal to that of 2020.

The respondents of this survey were also requested to gauge the effects of the domestic market on their establishment’s performance. More than half of participants, 55 per cent declared that the domestic market in 2021 faired better than 2020, while 29 per cent stated that during the past year, their domestic clientele was on the same levels of 2020.

On the other hand, 16 per cent reported less business from the domestic market when compared to 2020.

The tourism operators were also asked about the revenue generated during the festive season of 2021. Only 24 per cent stating that this period was better than 2020, while 40 per cent declared that it was on the same levels of the past year and 36 per cent reported that it was less the year 2020.

When asked about their business constraints, 57 per cent of respondents blamed COVID-19 uncertainty as their main obstacle, with 20 per cent stating insufficient demand, while the rest mentioned staff shortage, and operating costs.

Furthermore, 42 per cent of respondents declared that their operating constraints remained unchanged, while 30 per cent stated that these deteriorated with the remaining 27 per cent reporting that they have seen improvements on 2020.

Finally, from this survey it transpired that 37 per cent of respondents confirmed that they are having difficulties to obtain the necessary permits to employ foreign employees. Furthermore, the majority of these respondents, 54 per cent are employing 1-2 foreign employees, while 20 per cent are employing eight and over foreign employees, with the remainder 26 per cent declaring three to five employees.

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