Delegates from the Gibraltar Government along with several private sector companies held a three-day roadshow in Morocco at the end of November to promote Gibraltar as a tourist and business destination.
Albert Isola, the Minister for Commerce headed up the financial services delegation and Gilbert Licudi, Minister for Tourism led the delegation from the Gibraltar Tourist Board.
The roadshow was held in Marrakesh, Casablanca and Tangier and saw presentations and a series of meetings hosted by the Gibraltar delegations with their counterparts from Moroccan business organisations, tour operators and local media.
At the GTB events Mr Licudi delivered a welcome address highlighting the commitment of the Gibraltar Government to the tourism industry and the importance of looking to new markets such as Morocco in sourcing more visitors to the Rock.
Nicky Guerrero, Chief Executive of the GTB delivered a destination presentation concentrating on Gibraltar’s unique attractions as a tourist destination.
Members of the tourist industry from Gibraltar and Morocco supported the GTB. The TGB delegation included support from the Bland Group, Travel Link (Morocco), the GFSB, the Rock Hotel, the Sunborn Hotel and the Caleta Hotel. Joining the road show in Tangier was the University of Gibraltar and Setitours of Tangier.
Commenting on the three-day event, Minister Licudi said: “The level of attendance at the road shows exceeded our expectations and the level of interest shown by those attending was remarkable. The events have given us a chance to promote much of what Gibraltar has to offer. The direct flights from Morocco makes access that much easier and we must encourage not only our friends in that country to visit us but Gibraltarians to discover all that there is to explore in Morocco,” he added.
Running in parallel, Minister Isola attended private meetings in Marrakech including presentations on Gibraltar and Morocco at a hotel venue organised by Deloitte Gibraltar. Joining him were senior representatives from Deloitte as well as finance professionals from local firms in Marrakesh. Valuable contacts were also made with individuals from the Marrakesh Development Agency.
In Casablanca, Mr Isola took time to visit the offices of a local investment company which is a member of Casablanca Finance City and has links with a Gibraltar-licensed financial services entity. The Minister also met with a number of investment banking professionals and senior lawyers specialising in corporate finance during his visit to the city.
Mr Isola also hosted a breakfast conference at the equivalent of the Confederation of Moroccan Industry (Confederation Generale Des Enterprises Du Maroc) CGEM.
Clearly impressed with the level of development which Morocco has undergone Mr Isola urged a greater level of cooperation between Gibraltar and Moroccan business partners. There were also presentations by Aon Gibraltar on behalf of the insurance industry as well by Hyperion Gibraltar; the latter taking the opportunity to comment on social and cultural links as well as speaking on behalf of the investment industry generally.
Mr Isola commented, “This visit to two of Morocco’s major cities has been an opportunity to learn more about the very significant developments in Morocco’s economy. I have been stunned by Morocco’s diversification of its economy from the more traditional areas of agriculture, fishing and phosphates into such sectors such as automobile production and aviation.”
“It is clear that Morocco is leading an investment charge into neighbouring countries in Africa and others further afield; providing services in technology, specialist construction and banking to name but a few. We have also taken advantage during this visit to update and inform potential business partners of the specialist areas of financial services being offered from Gibraltar.”