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Published on : Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Gibraltar was represented at last week’s annual World Travel Market (WTM) 2013 in
London which brings together political representatives, officials and experts from
tourist departments across the world.
Minister for Tourism, Commercial Affairs, Public Transport and the Port Neil Costa
MP accompanied by Gibraltar Tourist Board CEO Nicky Guerrero, took part in the
global seminar for the travel trade.
Mr Costa attended the ministerial summit held in partnership with the World Tourism
Organisation which addressed a diverse range of relevant issues affecting the tourist
industry and the aviation sector with the aim of achieving policy initiatives to deliver
greater convergence between the two.
The conference, which was opened by Taleb Rifai Secretary-General of World
Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), also examined new opportunities and challenges
facing air transport development, including infrastructure, taxes and levies, visa
facilitation and regulation.
Among the speakers were the Tourism Ministers from the US Virgin Islands, Russia,
Morocco, Mexico and Portugal and officials from the International Air Transport
Association (IATA) and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
On Friday 8th November Minister Costa chaired a meeting of the United Kingdom
Gibraltar Tourism Association (UKGTA). The meeting was one of the best attended
and although three of the UK members were not able to attend, meetings with these
companies were held at the Gibraltar stand at WTM. As a result, the Ministry and the
GTB were able to progress discussions with its business partners on a raft of
At the meeting of the UKGTA, the tourism partners reported a positive increase in
business for the year as a result of the Government’s investment in marketing and
particularly in initiatives with event-led tourism. In addition the tour operators and
airlines to Gibraltar all reported solid increases to Gibraltar. This is consistent with
reports throughout 2013 that also reflected significant increases in leisure tourism to
Minister Costa said: “It has been a very fruitful participation by Gibraltar at the WTM
this year. The discussions proved to be interesting and touched upon key issues of
how aviation and tourism policies can work together for mutual cooperation and
therefore for the benefit of the general public who are after all the customers of these
services. It gives me great personal satisfaction to hear reports at the meeting of the
UKGTA that there have been solid increases in visitors to the Rock and that the tour
operators themselves acknowledged the particular efforts of the Government in
bringing the tourism industry to the fore.”