Boosting Niche Tourism in Gozo: Exploring the Funding Scheme for Innovative Initiatives

By Gilbert Ross

Gozo, with its rich cultural heritage, stunning landscapes, and tranquil atmosphere, has long been a hidden gem in the Mediterranean. As the demand for authentic and immersive travel experiences continues to grow, the island of Gozo is to become a leading destination for niche tourism. To support and incentivise businesses in promoting Gozo as a unique travel destination, the Maltese government has introduced a funding scheme aimed at fostering innovation and sustainability in the tourism sector.

The funding scheme, administered by Visit Gozo, is designed to provide financial support to businesses and organizations that develop and implement innovative projects aimed at enhancing the tourism offering in Gozo. Whether it’s eco-tourism, agri-tourism, cultural tourism, or adventure tourism, the funding scheme is open to a wide range of niche tourism initiatives that showcase the authentic charm and diverse attractions of Gozo.

The scheme covers up to 75% of eligible expenses, capped at €3,000 for advertisement campaigns targeting a foreign audience or participation in international fairs/events abroad. Capping increases to €4,500 in case of businesses undertaking both advertisement campaigns and participating in international fairs/events aboard. 

At Keen we have helped and partnered with several businesses that took advantage of schemes like this with developing websites, promoting their business proposition through digital marketing campaigns, helping with planning and strategy, or advising on PR opportunities among other things.  

So, what types of projects are eligible for funding under this scheme? The MTA outlined that eligible projects may include but are not limited to the following:

Eco-Friendly Accommodation: Initiatives that promote sustainable tourism practices, such as eco-friendly hotels, guesthouses, or campsites, that minimise environmental impact and conserve natural resources.

Cultural Experiences: Projects that highlight Gozo’s rich cultural heritage and traditions, such as heritage trails, cultural festivals, artisan workshops, or interactive exhibits that educate and engage visitors.

Adventure Tourism: Initiatives that cater to adventure seekers and outdoor enthusiasts, such as hiking trails, cycling tours, water sports activities, or guided nature walks that explore Gozo’s rugged coastline and scenic countryside.

Agri-Tourism Ventures: Projects that offer immersive experiences centered around Gozo’s agricultural heritage, such as farm stays, vineyard tours, cooking classes featuring local ingredients, or agritourism events that celebrate Gozo’s culinary traditions.

Wellness Retreats: Initiatives that promote health and wellness tourism, such as yoga retreats, spa getaways, meditation workshops, or holistic healing experiences that rejuvenate the mind, body, and soul amidst Gozo’s serene surroundings.

The funding scheme offers financial assistance in the form of grants, subsidies, or co-financing arrangements, depending on the nature and scope of the project. Applicants are required to submit a detailed project proposal outlining the objectives, activities, budget, and expected outcomes of the proposed initiative. Projects are evaluated based on criteria such as innovation, sustainability, economic impact, and potential to attract visitors to Gozo.

By incentivising businesses to invest in niche tourism initiatives, the funding scheme aims to diversify and enhance Gozo’s tourism product, creating new opportunities for economic growth and job creation while preserving the island’s natural and cultural heritage for future generations to enjoy.

Get in touch with us so we can guide you and help you come up with a strategy and plan on how to utilise the funds appropriately in promoting your business. Let Keen be your marketing and business success partner.