More than 500,000 people cross the channel for Christmas in Gozo
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The popular Christmas in Gozo programme ended on Sunday with the arrival of the Three Kings at Bethlehem f’Ghajnsielem.
The Ministry for Gozo, in a statement said that businesses in Gozo experienced another year of good results, “thanks to the strong investments made by the Ministry for the festive period.”
According to statistics issued by Gozo Channel, during the month of December until the 6th of January 2019, a total of 501 907 passengers and 156 343 vehicles crossed over to the island, compared with 464 837 passengers and 141 349 vehicles in the same period last year.
“This means an increase of 8% on the number of passengers and an 11% increase in vehicles crossing the channel,” the Ministry said. The busiest day was Sunday, the 30th of December, when 25 186 passengers and 5670 vehicles crossed over on the 76 trips carried out by Gozo Channel.
The Minister for Gozo Justyne Caruana welcomed the encouraging figures for the island of Gozo, which saw a heavy influx of tourists, both local and foreign, choosing Gozo as their destination for these holidays.
Dr Caruana remarked that this increase in numbers “is not just a coincidence but thanks to the work of the Ministry for Gozo in the organisation of the programme of events over the festive period which was spread across the island of Gozo with something to suit all tastes.”
The Minister said that owners of establishments and restaurants “were very satisfied with the influx of business during this period and praised the organised and structured programme of events during the festive season.”
Dr Caruana concluded by saying that these results are encouraging for the coming months, with more cultural events organised across the island.
Mr Joe Muscat, CEO of Gozo Tourism Association said that the performance for tourism in Gozo had been very good over the festive period. “From reports we have from various categories within the tourism sector in Gozo, it seems that the Christmas period and New Year, was the best one in recent years,” he said.
“The number of visitors to Gozo, meant that hotels reported a high demand for accommodation, while those with farmhouses have reported good occupancy rates especially in the last weekend of the year. Demand for accommodation was from both the domestic market and overseas,” Mr Muscat said.
The restaurant sector also reported a good festive season. “This category had a very demanding period during the week between Christmas and the New Year,” said Joe Muscat.
Photograph by Alain Salvary