Between the beginning of July and the end of September, the number of vehicles that crossed between Malta and Gozo exceeded 550,000 for the first time in history.
This meant that the amount of people who chose to visit Gozo with their vehicle was 6% higher than in the third quarter of 2020. Moreover, the results achieved during the third quarter of this year were 2% higher than in 2019, before the pandemic.
Given that tourist numbers are still quite below their pre-pandemic level, this increase in vehicle crossings reflected an increased flow of Maltese seeking a break in Gozo. Summer 2021 has proven to be another great season for staycations in Gozo, and the indications are that autumn is also proving to be quite good.
246,000 people used the fast-ferry
Official data also shed light on the success that the fast ferry service has had. Up to the end of September, nearly 246,000 passengers utilised this service.
In the third quarter, one in eight passengers who crossed between the two islands did so using the fast ferry. This demonstrates a good degree of penetration at such an early stage of the introduction of the service.
The number of passengers who crossed between Malta and Gozo rose above the 1.6 million mark, which was the highest on record since the third quarter of 2019. Compared to the same period in 2020 there was an increase of nearly a third of a million passengers, or 26% higher.
This was the result not only of an improved number of ferry crossings and the introduction of the fast ferry, but also the good financial situation of most Maltese households. The second round of vouchers also had a strong impact on internal tourism, helping to boost activity in the Gozitan economy.
The early signals are that Gozo can look forward to a very strong fourth quarter, with arrivals expected to peak during the mid-term school holidays and during Christmas.