The GSD welcomes the appointment of a Gibraltarian with an in excess of 30-year track record in the international tourism trade as CEO to the Tourist Board. The party has been calling for the position – which has in effect been vacant for almost one year – to be urgently filled and by someone who should be based in Gibraltar. Tourism is a crucial sector of the economy which has suffered a huge blow as a result of the global pandemic and the delay in taking prompt action in this respect was a clear failure, which Gibraltar could ill afford. This appointment therefore comes not a moment too soon and should have occurred much sooner – precious time has been lost.
It will be recalled that the Minister for Tourism announced that the Government had decided that the individual should be based in London with responsibility for tourism, transport and shipping. Their press release is curiously silent on this aspect. The GSD opposition never understood why Mr Daryanani thought it a good idea that the leader of such an important authority as is the Tourist Board, especially during this period of economic and financial crisis, should be based thousands of miles away in London and not where he should be, here in Gibraltar. This important question remains unanswered and so the GSD re-asks the Government to clarify the position.
Given the tendencies in office of the current Minister for Tourism who is, usually, so keen to hog the limelight and attract attention to himself, it will be of public interest to understand how much discretion and authority the CEO will be given to promote the industry. This is a further aspect which has remained conspicuously silent in the statement today.
Damon Bossino the shadow Minister for Tourism said:
“Whilst these questions remain unanswered, they are matters which are wholly independent of Mr Kevin Bossino’s appointment. He clearly has tremendous experience in the industry both locally and internationally, not least in the Far East in both Hong Kong and Singapore, both destinations being successful in the tourism industry and an impressive CV which speaks for itself and which we hope will be allowed to be put to good use for sake of our economy. It is a particular pleasure to note the use of local talent, as should be the norm, and not the exception.”