Constraints of the Gozitan Tourism Sector Jan - Apr 23

It is evidently clear that the tourism operators in Gozo are in their majority employing foreign workers. This was expressed by 77% of Gozitan operators in a survey conducted by the Gozo Tourism Association during the past fortnight, amongst its members. This survey was conducted to understand better the human resources situation prevailing within the Gozitan tourism sector, as well as the constraints faced by these establishments in their operation.  

The encouraging response to this survey from Gozitan tourism operators covered a wide range of the tourism sector on Gozo. The categories that filled in the survey were coming from all the Accommodation sectors, Restaurants, Diving Centres. Tourist Attractions, Transport, Tour operators, DMCs, Travel Agencies, Real Estate and tourism consultancy firms.  

More than half of respondents (60%) of this survey also declared that they are still encountering difficulties to recruit new employees. As mitigating measures Gozitan operators proposed fiscal incentives for employees in this sector, as well the discontinuing of the unnecessary employment within the public sector.

The bureaucratic process to obtain the necessary work permits was highlighted by 61% of    the survey participants as the main issue and obstacle when they come to employ foreign staff.

When asked what are the disadvantages in employing foreign staff 41% of survey respondents   flagged the lack of basic knowledge of the job to be performed. Other drawbacks mentioned were the low employee retention period (22%) and the poaching of the trained staff (24%) while another group of respondents (13%) underlined the lack of the English language knowledge as another handicap. 

When participants were questioned if their respective establishment required upgrading to meet the current visitor’s expectation, 56% stated yes. However, these in their majority (70%) stated that they are not financially in a position to affect the required upgrades and renovations.

The survey respondents also stated that wages, repairs and renewals and F&B costs were the three main operating costs that have increased considerably.  

Finally, a mixed outlook for the rest of 2023 was expressed in this survey, as 25% of respondents are forecasting better performance of their establishment on 2022, with 38% predicting that 2023 will result on the same levels of 2022. Whilst 37% are estimating that their business will perform less than 2022.   Finally, through the findings of this survey, the Gozo Tourism  Association will be in a position to suggest and put forward proposals to the various competent Authorities to tackle in a synergized effort the issues raised in this survey for the benefit of  the tourism sector on Gozo.

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