The Gozo Tourism Association has welcomed news that new buildings in Gozo will soon need to have their façades built from Maltese stone, describing it as “a breath of fresh air in the development frenzy taking place presently on Gozo.”
The announcement came from Minister Clint Camilleri, who took over the planning portfolio in early January after a Cabinet reshuffle. He also remained Minister for Gozo.
“This policy decision is in line with the Gozo Tourism Association (GTA) views on development on Gozo,” said the organisation in a statement released on Monday (today).
“During the past years, the association has advocated that development in Gozo should be in line and respects the characteristics and the urban fabric of the Island. It is through these attributes that Gozo has positioned and established itself as a distinct tourism destination within the Maltese archipelago and elsewhere.”
The GTA pointed to the farmhouse concept, developed years ago, as well as to the recent development of several boutique hotels, all built restored and renovated in local stone, which “were the catalysts for a niche type of accommodation synonymous with the island of Gozo.”
It stated that it “has always been in favour of development, that respects the character of the existing buildings and environment and that enhances Gozo as a unique tourist destination.”
Last year, the Gozo Region Development Authority launched a development strategy for Gozo, termed: “Gozo: An Island of Villages”. This document argues that Gozo has distinctive characteristics, both physical, as well as social, that form part of Gozo’s heritage and identity.
The new policy is in line with this vision, said the GTA, adding that it hopes that “this new direction will be one of the building blocks on which future development on Gozo will continue to drive the economy forward in a different sustainable and enduring way.”
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