GTA praises ‘bal­anced’ bud­get

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

The Gozo Tourism As­so­ci­a­tion be­lieves that over­all this is a bal­anced bud­get which also re­flects the eco­nom­i­cal growth en­vi­ron­ment in var­i­ous sec­tors in­clud­ing the tourism in­dus­try.

This year’s bud­get is once again em­pha­sis­ing the con­nec­tiv­ity is­sues through the in­tro­duc­tion of a fast ferry ser­vice be­tween the two main is­lands, and the al­lo­ca­tion of funds for the re­lated tech­ni­cal and ge­o­log­i­cal stud­ies of the un­der­seabed tun­nel.

An­other longed for con­nec­tiv­ity is now be­ing ad­dressed, by the al­lo­ca­tion of €3.2 mil­lion for a fi­bre op­tic link and a sec­ond fi­bre op­tic ca­ble, be­tween Malta and Gozo.

The Gozo Tourism As­so­ci­a­tion pos­i­tively notes the mea­sures in this bud­get aimed to­wards the im­prove­ment of the touris­tic prod­uct and ser­vice. The an­nounced schemes for the re­fur­bish­ment of ho­tels and restau­rants and the tax cred­its for those restau­rants that en­gage chefs with in­ter­na­tional ex­per­tise, will both help im­prove the qual­ity of the ser­vice and prod­uct.

In this re­spect, how­ever the GTA also notes that the farm­house prod­uct which is so pre­dom­i­nant in the Goz­i­tan ac­com­mo­da­tion sec­tor was not in­cluded to ben­e­fit from this scheme.

Fur­ther­more other projects men­tioned in the bud­get like the build­ing of the pub­lic swim­ming pool, the up­grad­ing of St Fran­cis Square, and the area lead­ing to the park­ings, the build­ing of a new mu­seum, as well as the up­keep of the Goz­i­tan coun­try­side are all mea­sures that will con­tinue en­hanc­ing the is­land’s touris­tic of­fer.

As men­tioned in the Bud­get speech, the Gozo Tourism As­so­ci­a­tion is also ex­pect­ing that from the funds col­lected through the eco-con­tri­bu­tion, em­bel­lish­ment projects are also car­ried out in Gozo, while rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Goz­i­tan tourism in­dus­try should also be part of the agency be­ing set up to ad­min­is­ter th­ese funds.

On an­other note, the Gozo Tourism As­so­ci­a­tion ob­serves that there is no men­tion what­so­ever in the bud­get speech on the green air­field, that last year’s bud­get (2016) con­tem­plated an en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact study on a green air­field on Gozo.

Al­though there were other sev­eral bud­get mea­sures pro­posed by the Gozo Tourism As­so­ci­a­tion, and that were not catered for, es­pe­cially those tar­geted to mit­i­gate sea­son­al­ity, how­ever the as­so­ci­a­tion ac­knowl­edges that over­all this bud­get pro­motes fur­ther eco­nomic growth.

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