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Opinion & Analysis

A legacy to be proud of

By Christian Santos, Minister for Tourism

The Gibunco Gibraltar International Literary Festival has gone from strength to strength and has become an embodiment of our commitment to celebrating literature, culture, politics and the arts. Indeed, this year we are absolutely delighted and honoured to also have the festival’s Patron HRH The Princess Royal with us in Gibraltar. Having the esteemed presence of The Princess Royal, Princess Anne, as the Patron of the Gibunco Gibraltar Literary Festival holds significant importance for us all.

Her Royal Highness brings not only a distinguished aura but also a profound commitment to literature, culture, and education. As the festival’s Patron, Princess Anne's involvement enhances the festival's prestige and underscores the cultural and educational significance of the event. Her support, in my opinion, not only elevates the profile of the Literary Festival but also serves as a testament to the importance of fostering a love for literature. I believe the Princess Royal's patronage undoubtedly contributes to the festival's success, providing a regal endorsement that resonates with the values of knowledge and creativity. Her presence further strengthens the bonds between Gibraltar, the Royal Family and the broader literary community, emphasising the power of words to unite and inspire.

As the Minister for Tourism, I am proud to oversee the delivery of this remarkable event that has firmly engraved itself into our national social calendar. In my opinion, the literary festival is not just a testament to our thriving tourism industry but is also a significant investment in our community, offering unparalleled intellectual enrichment while providing a platform for world renowned speakers to captivate our audience.

Since its inception in 2013, the Gibunco Gibraltar International Literary Festival has evolved into a cultural phenomenon. It has helped us with our aim to transform Gibraltar into a destination for tourism-led events, drawing visitors from around the world to Gibraltar. The festival's remarkable growth reflects our unwavering dedication to creating an atmosphere that fosters a love for literature and the exchange of ideas.

One of the factors that have contributed to the festival's tremendous success is the exceptional calibre of speakers it attracts year after year. This year’s edition is no exception. It boasts an impressive line-up that includes former UK Prime Minister the Rt Hon Lady Theresa May and renowned culinary icon Dame Mary Berry Their participation not only enhances the festival's international standing but also underscores the broad spectrum of topics and themes that the event embraces. From politics to gastronomy, the festival is a true celebration of the diverse facets of our cultural heritage.

Perhaps one of the most poignant moments of this year's festival will come from the speaker Wendy Mitchell. Wendy, who has been living with dementia, will share her personal journey, offering a moving perspective on this condition. Her story will undoubtedly serve as an emotional and educational experience for our attendees, reinforcing the festival's role as a powerful tool for raising awareness and fostering a more inclusive and compassionate society. Wendy's presence underscores the festival's commitment to addressing issues of societal importance and stimulating meaningful conversations.

Beyond the remarkable speakers, the Gibunco Gibraltar International Literary Festival offers a wide array of experiences. The festival is a heaven for book enthusiasts, a place where ideas flow freely, and where connections are made that can last a lifetime.

The Gibunco Gibraltar International Literary Festival is a beacon of our commitment to literature, culture, and the arts. It is a testament to our dedication to growth, not just as a tourist destination but also as a community. I encourage everyone, whether local or those visiting Gibraltar, to participate in this literary celebration, to embrace the knowledge, insight, and diversity of thought that the festival offers. Let us continue to build on the legacy of this remarkable event. Although the Gibunco Gibraltar International Literary Festival is more than just an event; it is a testament to our evolving literary legacy, one that grows stronger with each passing year.

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