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GSD slams Govt’s ‘unforgiveable’ decision not to exhibit at Fitur tourism fair

The GSD on Tuesday said it was “aghast” at the Gibraltar Government’s decision not to have a stand at the Fitur tourism fair in Madrid.

The issue was the subject of testy exchanges between the Minister for Tourism, Vijay Daryanani, and the GSD’s Damon Bossino during a Viewpoint last week.

Yesterday, it flared into an exchange of biting statements between the two.

“Madrid, as the capital city of the country from which the vast majority of our excursionists come, was without Gibraltar government representation this year,” Mr Bossino said.

“A hopefully post-pandemic year when Gibraltar is strapped for cash and needs as much economic input as possible.”

“It beggars belief and is quite frankly unforgiveable that the government should not have been there.”

When challenged on this by Mr Bossino during Viewpoint, Mr Daryanani “flippantly and arrogantly dismissed” the Government’s non-attendance on the grounds that he did not think it was important, the GSD said.

“The news was only made worse when on the same day [Mr Daryanani] boasted that he had gone many miles away to Bangladesh, in which he ostensibly identified ‘opportunities in many areas…like the hospitality industry’,” Mr Bossino said.

“Whether it is on tourism or in other areas, this government has clearly lost its way and is coming to the end of its sell-by date as many, many people are increasingly realising as each day goes by.”

Last night the Minister for Tourism responded to GSD’s criticism.

“This Government, whilst facing other financial priorities at the moment including the ongoing battle against a global pandemic, continues to do the work to market Gibraltar more effectively than the GSD ever did,” Mr Daryanani said.

“Indeed, I travelled to Bangladesh at the invitation of the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council at no cost to the Gibraltarian taxpayer.”

“This represented a rare and valuable networking and business opportunity to open up potential new markets in a number of areas.”

“What is remarkable is the arrogance with which Mr Bossino approaches his role, as a member of the Opposition.”

“He pretends to be able to make policy in the areas that he shadows.”

“This is just another example of his eagerness to criticize without offering any solutions or new ideas.”

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