2023: a good year for Gozo’s economy

As a result of a strong growth in employment, unemployment in Gozo has reached record lows, standing at just 61.

Last year, the number of full-timers in Gozo increased by 669, or by 4%, to more than 16,200. This growth occurred in four sectors, namely professional services (114), administrative services (126), accommodation and food services (173), and wholesale and retail (147). Both the construction and public sectors, which according to the mainstream media drive the Gozitan economy, saw no growth in employment.

Malta Enterprise approved 6 new projects in Gozo during 2023. Over the next three years these will generate an investment of €2.3 million. At the same time Gozo is benefitting from 17 projects that had been approved in the previous two years, which are expected to generate more than 170 new jobs as a result of investments of €6.4 million.

Besides these projects, in 2023 Malta Enterprise also provided support through the Micro Invest scheme to 580 projects, a record amount for Gozo. This support totalled €6.3 million, and followed support of €11.8 million in the previous two years. Over three years Malta Enterprise supported 1,709 projects in Gozo.

Micro Invest projects in Gozo

Source: Malta Enterprise

Besides the growth in full-time employment, there was an increase of 385 part-timers, meaning a 6% rise. As a result of this strong growth in employment, unemployment in Gozo has reached record lows, standing at just 61.

During 2023 there were 1,745 final deeds of sale signed for Gozitan properties. Moreover the number of promise of sale agreements amounted to 1,595, or slightly more than in 2022.

The number of guests, both local and foreign tourists, staying in collective accommodation establishments in Gozo reached a new high of over 83,200. This marks an increase of 23% over 2022, as nearly 16,000 more tourists stayed in Gozo. More than two-fifths of this increase was in 4- and 5-star hotels.

The total nights spent reached nearly 245,000, resulting in an increase in the occupancy rate of nearly 5 percentage points. The highest occupancy rate was in 5-star hotels. At the same time the number of bed places offered by the tourism industry in Gozo grew by 7%, with an increase of 2 new collective establishments. This brought the stock of hotel beds in Gozo to close to 1,000 for the first time in history.

The number of passengers using the ferry services rose to nearly 5 million, an increase of 15%, to reach a new record. The number of vehicles making the crossing also reached a new record of over 1.5 million cars, or 4% more than in 2022.

Private sector activity was supported by public sector investment. In 2023 the Ministry for Gozo had a recurrent expenditure of €60 million, an unprecedented amount, which was complemented by a capital expenditure of €22 million. Amongst the major investments that were carried out in 2023 there were €6 million on the Gozo Aquatic Centre, that should open this year, as well as €8 million on road construction and improvements.

For this year, the prospects are also good, as the budget for Gozo has been increased while the tourism sector is set for further gains. At the same time, the projects that have been supported in recent years are creating high quality jobs for Gozitans.

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