Cruise ships are scheduled to anchor off the coast in Gozo with interest in the island as a luxury cruise destination increasing, says Esther Bajada, director, Ministry for Gozo Tourism and Economic Development Directorate.
Tourism is a main contributor for the Gozo economy. A recent study conducted by the ministry for tourism, established that the contribution of tourism to the island in terms of expenditure amounts to around 180Euros per annum equivalent to just under 50% of Gozo’s GDP.
The importance of the cruise industry to Gozo must be seen from the perspective of enticing cruise visitors to come and visit Gozo for longer stay.
The government issued an international call of expression of interest for the development of a cruise ship terminal and yacht marina and Kalamarine Development Consortium was selected. Negotiations are at the final stages.
The latter is a very important development, as this picturesque post has considerable potential for small and boutique luxury cruise ships. These developments bode well for both Gozo and Malta says Ivan Mifsud ” I am a firm believer that the Valletta/Gozo combination is a win-win- win for cruise line, guests and Malta/Gozo alike since combining Gozo to Malta has the following benefits: the cruise line enjoys low fuel consupmtion to sail to Gozo, no passenger taxes and no berthage charges on anchor plus there is a casino concession, guests get to enjoy an undiscovered island which has a lot to offer.
In 2015, Mifsud Brothers Ltd (MBL) handled four turnarounds: Star Clipper (two), Europa 2 and Serenissima once, a new client. Star Clipper will repeat two turnarounds in 2016.
“We have already more calls booked for 2016 than in 2015 which is a positive indicator”, notes Ivan Mifsud, joint managing director of MBL