The Gibraltar Tourist Board (GTB) under the Ministry of Tourism has announced that they had a bustling first quarter in 2024, particularly with the planning for the relaunch of the Visit Gibraltar brand which was launched at a press conference on 4th April.

The GTB has been actively engaged in promoting Gibraltar across various sectors internationally at tradeshows and conferences, the standard industry mechanisms to make contacts and promote products and venues.

The BOOT show in Dusseldorf was the first of the year. GTB’s CEO Kevin Bossino attended this large-scale show that hosted 214,000 visitors from 120 countries. It is the largest yacht and water sports show in the world and included representatives from the yachting world, marinas, water sports and scuba diving. It was Gibraltar’s first time attending this show, but of great value given our aspirations to further market Gibraltar to special interest groups, with scuba diving being one of the fastest growing areas in global tourism.

In the same vein, the UK Dive show in Coventry at the beginning of March was also an opportunity to target consumers, the dive Tour Operators and travel agents. The UK is Gibraltar’s key feeder market for this niche sport, so it is highly beneficial to have a presence at this type of event.

In early February Mr Bossino attended the CONNECT airline route development conference in Turin Italy with Mr Stuart Finlayson. Hosting 800 participants and 80 airlines, the face-to-face meetings with key personnel from existing airline partners and potential airlines afforded great networking opportunities.

The IMM Travmedia conference in London late February was also a great forum for relationship building and networking. Thirty-six back-to-back meetings with travel media representatives to include editors, journalists and PR professionals afforded a great deal of feedback and pointers.

The Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) industry is an industry Gibraltar is actively pursuing. Ms Tracey Poggio from the GTB’s London office participated in the MICE BOOK event in London together with MS Britta Weiser from the Sunborn Hotel. Contacts made at a show last September is testament to how these conferences reap dividends. Due to introductions made to the British Tourism Association (BTA) team last year, Gibraltar will host the BTA autumn conference this coming September. Through this and further conferences planned, the GTB will continue to build a reputation of service in this community and will be able to pitch our product further.

The GTB also attended the M&I show in Marrakech in late March with Mr Pablo Santolaya from the Sunborn hotel. Numerous meetings were held with MICE planners from Europe and the UK exploring opportunities for Gibraltar especially in the small meeting and incentive areas.

Another area of growth for our tourism is in the Weddings and Honeymoons sector. Mr Bossino attended a magazine award event in London at the end of February along with Mr Karl Triay from the CSRO and representatives from the Sunborn Hotel. Their mission was to promote Gibraltar as a unique destination to tie the knot due to its individuality, charm and comparative simplicity in terms of paperwork and requirements.

The culmination of this busy first quarter saw the relaunch of the Visit Gibraltar brand presented by Minister Santos and Kevin Bossino on 4th April at the Wessex Lounge at the Gibraltar International Airport. The aim is to rejuvenate the Gibraltar brand and expand social media coverage. The rebrand covered the physical Visit Gibraltar logo and extends to the reimagining of the perception of Gibraltar as a tourist product in the marketplace.

The well received rebrand goes hand in hand with the GTB’s reassessing of the Licence Guide program which, led by Ms Suyenne Catania assisted by Anthony Celecia, is aimed to maintain service standards among authorised tour guides.

The Ministry of Tourism’s vision is to sell Gibraltar overseas, increase our share of the marketplace and make our visitors fall in love with our product, making Gibraltar not only a one-time hotspot not to be missed, but a quality repeat venue of choice.

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