In 2022 the Gozo Business Chamber (GBC) launched its ‘Business sentiment survey’. The scope of this excercise was for the Chamber to have a bird’s eye view of how the economy in Gozo is fairing by undertaking a mid-year and an end-of-year survey among the Gozitan business community.  This excercise focused principally on the business community’s personal perspective while gauging specific areas of interest such as e-commerce, and accessibility.  The first part of the survey which was generic, remained the same for both surveys.  This was done with the intent of comparing the results of both surveys.  This will also remain constant for the coming years.  The majority of the responses in both surveys came from businesses who employed 1 to 10 employees.

With respect to the current economic scenario, in August 2022, the majority (39.6%) were neutral about the current economic scenario, with 26.4% having a positive outlook, and 15.1% having a very positive outlook.  In February 2023 the majority (50.6%) had a neutral perspective to the current economic scenario.  This represented an increase of 11% over the survey conducted in August 2022.  On the other hand, 32.5% had a positive outlook, while only 2.4% had a very positive outlook on the situation at that particular point in time.  This meant an increase of  6.1%, and a decrease of 12.7% respectively.

Over the two surveys the main problems faced by businesses were: (a) ‘the lack of suitable employees to man operations’, followed by the (b) rise in costs of raw materials, and  (c) human resources.  In this case respondents could choose more than one option.

In both surveys, the majority highlighted that they will be retaining the current level of operations, with a significant percentage also indicating that they are thinking of expanding further.

As regards ‘The Future of the Gozitan economy’ it is to be noted that a different methodology was adopted in the second survey, with respondents being able to choose more than one option in the second survey.  This is going to remain the same in future surveys.  In both surveys the majority highlighted that the tourism sector is the future of the gozitan economy.

However, it is also important to note that for both surveys, after tourism, respondents higlighted the digital and green economy as the future of the gozitan economy.

In the second survey (February 2023) specific information was asked about the use of e-commerce within the business.  56.6% highlighted that they do not have an e-commerce site.  28.9% remarked that they had an e-commerce site prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, while 14.5% invested in an e-commerce site during the COVID-19 pandemic.  For those who had an e-commerce site 78.9% highlighted that the same employees within the business were responsible for the e-commerce content.

In the second survey (February 2023) specific questions were also asked on the fast ferry service.  It is important to note that 94% of the respondents  highlighted that this is an essential service.

From the qualitative input to both surveys the following should be highlighted:

  • Concerns raised among the respondents included principally the issue of overdevelopment and the overreliance of the Gozitan economy on construction and the tourism industry.  Nonetheless in the case of the latter many highlighted the need to move towards high-end specialised tourism;
  • Other important issues that the respondents felt should be addressed included the diversification of the Gozitan economy and the need for a more intensive deployment of sustainable mobility solutions.

For a summary overview of the survey please refer to the presentation in this link.

For a more detailed analysis of the survey please refer to the report in this link.