Outfitter Spotlight: Kayak Gozo
Kayak Gozo brings their guests on kayak tours around the sunny Mediterranean islands of Gozo and Comino, part of the Maltese archipelago. Co-owners Chris and Kristie tell us about their touring business…
BB: Tell us how Kayak Gozo got started.
KAYAK GOZO: Before we moved here several years ago we were living in Amsterdam and were growing tired of the rat race. So we decided to ditch our jobs and take a chance on Malta! We had never been to Gozo before we packed up and moved here, but were impressed by what we had heard about it.
It didn't take long before we turned our personal life adventure into an exciting business (ad)venture. With our combined backgrounds in water sports, education, business management, technology and logistical organisation and our strong entrepreneurial spirits, opening a business together was a no-brainer.
And of course kayaking was the perfect choice for these gorgeous Mediterranean islands—an eco-friendly, intimate and easy way to explore!
BB: What’s unique about your location?
KAYAK GOZO: The moment we stepped off the boat in Gozo we knew we were in the right place. Here, you sometimes feel like you are stepping back in time—entering a world more rustic, less complicated and certainly sunnier!
The relatively calm waters of the Mediterranean and the varied landscape are real plus points here. We have cliffs, caves, bays, arches and rock formations, not to mention the beauty of the crystal blue water and all that lies beneath it.
The small size of Gozo and Comino islands is also great for kayaking. It offers beginners the opportunity to easily kayak from island to island and offers more experienced kayakers the chance to circumnavigate.
Did we mention there are 300 days of sunshine a year in Malta?
BB: How do your kayak tours impact your customers?
KAYAK GOZO: "It was the highlight of our holiday" is one of the phrases we (very happily) hear over and over again.
Our customers aren't only impressed with the kayaking itself, but also with our attention to detail and to creating an experience that is personal and authentic. In other words, they know we care.
That shows because we do lots of things we don't 'have to' do, like taking pictures for them free of charge so they can keep their own equipment safe while out on the water.
Our guides are friendly, fun and knowledgeable. Our food is fresh, homemade and plentiful. And our equipment is top notch.
For example, in our first season, a reoccurring issue was the heaviness of the paddles we were using. That's when we crossed over to Bending Branches paddles. Now, sore wrists are few and far between and we have a lot more smiles!
That's another one of the things that clients notice and what makes us so successful—whenever there is an issue, we don't stop until we find a great solution.
BB: What’s your most popular tour?
KAYAK GOZO: I would say that our Day Chillin' full day tour is one of our most popular. It's half kayaking and half snorkeling/exploring on land. It's a perfect way to do lots with kayaking, to stay cool with snorkeling and to have more time to take in the sites and sunshine.
We find that most of our guests come here for a relaxing holiday experience, so it's a great tour for kayakers of any level!
BB: How do you love giving back to your local community?
KAYAK GOZO: We feel very lucky to have been welcomed as guests in this country, and showing our respect for the culture, community and environment of Malta is a high priority for us.
Often there is more of a focus placed on big events or projects nowadays. While those are also valuable of course, we feel that it's the everyday efforts we all put in that make a more meaningful and long-lasting impact.
That means sourcing local goods and services as much as possible, working with local authorities to improve water safety regulations and using biodegradable (cleaning) supplies.
We support local causes such as youth kayaking clubs and environmental clean-up days, including special tours for people with disabilities as well as simply acting with respect toward everyone we come across and picking up any refuse we see around us.
At the moment, we are seriously looking for a better way of providing water to our guests on the tours. We are looking to find a more sustainable yet hygienic, affordable and logistically feasible way of to do this.
We are considering offering an incentive to kayakers who bring their own re-usable bottles. We will keep working on it until we find a great solution!
We are lucky enough to have had so many wonderful people come paddling with us. Have a look on TripAdvisor and see what our clients have to say about what we do.
Have a paddle question for our friendly Customer Service team? Contact them today: 715-755-3405 • [email protected]
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