Gozo’s best tourists – By Lino DeBono
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“Gozo is continuously increasing the number of visitors that come to visit the Island. These are classified by the locals in certain categories according to their stay and spending’s.
A former very dear lady friend of mine Ms Benna Vella used to quote me the Maltese proverbs that says “Il-flus jghamlu l-flus u Il-Qamel jghamel il-Qamel.” Literally in a simply meaning these mean “That wealth begets wealth and poverty begets poverty.”
At the present time the Maltese have monies in their pockets. This can be seen and felt by locals travelling far beyond the normal places that they used to visit, i.e. mostly Italy – Britain and Germany. Now locals are travelling to the Maldives – Fiji – Indonesia – Japan, etc. etc. They are exploring new possibilities due to the fact that people are enjoying monies in their pockets.
This actuality can be seen in reality in Gozo. Gozo is enjoying an influx of what we call internal tourism. The number of Maltese crossing over, differently from the past methods of former days when on Tuesdays and Thursdays, the village Chaplain used to bring over a bus or two with village locals carrying their bread and soft drinks and playing tombola by the sea-side.
Nowadays Gozo enjoys several different kinds of Maltese in Gozo. First and foremost are those Maltese who graciously have decided to buy property in Gozo and come to live among us on most of the days.
Mostly these decided on this as they have money in which to invest and secondly for the quiet and rural life that at present still enjoy. Also others that wanted to leave their troubled past in Malta behind and start a new life in Gozo.
These are classified very good spenders by locals. Also these type of people invite other Maltese to cross over for some days which taken all together profits the Gozitan economy.
Then you have the Maltese youth factor. Groups of young people regularly plan weekends in a farmhouse in Gozo to enjoy themselves and let their hair down as the expression says.
Locals at supermarkets continuously see these young people’s groups buying whole trolley loads of drinks, food, sweets, pastries and all sorts of required items and much more than usually is needed for their sojourn enjoyment.
Then there are the groups of Maltese who cross over for a day to relax, go to a bar, drink and then go to eat in a good restaurant and return back to Malta.
Also restaurants all over are doing a brisk business especially from the Maltese. These are classified by all Gozitans as the best tourism we have.
Then there are other forms of very good income for Gozo – by having overseas nationalities who when seeing Gozo fall in love with it and decided to come and live among us.
Apart from investing in property in Gozo, many of these welcomed guests do contribute so vastly within our Communities.
Some of these are well renowned personalities who pass on their profession to locals and groups in all sections and forms. We had famous people like Monserrat – Trump – film actors – musicians – singers – ecologists and researchers. All sorts who have helped elevate and bring to life the Gozitan way.
Many have volunteered in so many activities, like for example the creator of this web-site Michael and his wife Tish, who actually is the instigator and creator of this web-site. These people we Gozitan appreciate, their integration with us and are calculated as good tourists for Gozo and Gozitans.
Apart from this they are creating other means of adding foreign tourism to Gozo as these do invite their families and friends for a visit.
By seeing is believing and when one sees the beauty of living a quiet and safe life where one can still leave children running around by themselves at the seaside till late at night without any fear of harm, then that’s something remarkable.
The last type of tourist in Gozo are those in the small cruise liners that visit Gozo. These cruise liners have the maximum number of tourists on board, up to 250. Out of these, say half of them take a tour of Gozo.
The only people that benefit from these so called tourists are those with the Charabanc and the Guild. No restaurants, bars or anyone else benefit from these type of tourism.
They would have already paid for their food on the liner so these opt to eat on the liner. I might say it is very different from those that stopover in Malta.
Gozitans are saying between themselves this “It is much better if we have 2 bus loads of Maltese crossing over than a small cruise liner,”
Personally I do concur with this line of thinking except for one thing. Maybe from those that come in these liners when seeing Gozo will fall in love with it and decide to come and live among us.
We living in Gozo must all keep our rural aspects and tranquillity of life. This is what attracts visitors and people to Gozo and it is also a tranquil life for us Gozitans ourselves.
The Government must see that we Gozitans continue to enjoy our tranquillity and rural aspects. The Government must also see that we will not allow exploitations of projects under one excuse or another which harm the Island.
One simply cannot evaluate our life from being unfamiliar with our aspects and way of life.
Speculators both local, Maltese or foreign – all of you stay away from Gozo.”
Photograph by Alain Salvary