Is Gibraltar's touristic reputation as rock-solid as locals may believe?

Mark Viales

Continued from Friday

Few on the Rock can imagine there will ever be a drop-off in tourism, even with Brexit watching and waiting on the horizon with a merciless grin. The cruises will keep coming and flights from the motherland will never cease, so is there really anything to worry about? There certainly is. 

Is Gibraltar’s reputation as a touristic destination really as Rock solid as locals may believe? The product needless to say is currently quite strong. A beautiful limestone Rock protruding from the sea with breathtaking views of Europe and Africa as well as a rich military history and the only free roaming monkeys on the continent ensure that. But there are other reasons visitors stop off at Gibraltar, namely low prices on wine, spirits and tobacco as well as other duty free items.

The fact of the matter is that only a small change to our fragile tourism sector could see it set on a downward spiral. If someday Gibraltar were to lose its duty free label, not only would this strike the high street with immense problems but also the effect on travellers could be substantial.

If cruise companies deem that it is no longer worth their while to take their passengers to a duty free haven, we could see a loss of tens of thousands of tourists per year. The same can be said about the number of visitors arriving by air.