Winston Churchill once said “never waste a good crisis”- this is exactly how the idea for the Gibraltar Pass was born. With COVID19 crippling global tourism over the past year, Gibraltar’s tourism sector was also badly hit. But the pandemic gave the opportunity to stop, sit back and rethink the way tourism is managed in Gibraltar. The result has been a re-packaging and modernisation of the Gibraltar tourism experience through a digital platform that suits the needs of the 21st century, post-pandemic tourists- namely the Gibraltar Pass.
The Gibraltar Pass puts Gibraltar in line with top city destinations around the world like London, Paris, New York, Singapore and many more who offer visitors a City Pass. The concept of the City Pass is a very simple one-visitor purchase online a One Day pass (some cities offer 2, 3 and even 7 days pass) giving them access to the city’s top attractions and experiences, along with travel on public transport and many discounts at retailers and restaurants across the city.
Similarly the Gibraltar Pass gives visitors the opportunity to enjoy the Rock’s biggest attractions including the Cable Car, St Michael’s Cave, World War 2 Tunnels, Great Siege Tunnels, the Skywalk, encounter the famous apes, minibus Rock tour, and much more all in a single transaction! Moreover, included in the Gibraltar Pass is travel on the Number 5 and Number 10 Buses taking visitors from the frontier to the town centre and the cable-car. On top of all that, the Gibraltar Pass provides visitors with exclusive discounts, promotions and special offers at a wide range of participating attractions, activities, restaurants, cafes and leading retailers and service providers across Gibraltar. Example of valuable discounts include 20% off Dolphin Adventure tours, £150 off at Gibraltar Boat Charter, and various offers at popular shops such as S.M Seruya, Netgear, Stagnetto’s and much more, thereby providing visitors with a great value-for-money product, and saving them hundreds of pounds.
But one of the most important aspects of the Gibraltar Pass has been the great emphasis that has been placed on giving visitors an enhanced experience of Gibraltar. The idea here is to give visitors various perks and freebies to make their experience of Gibraltar much more enjoyable – after all it’s often the little things that make a big difference. Example include a free bottle of water for every Gibraltar Pass holder provided by Eroski, a free guidebook and map of Gibraltar, a free taste of Campion Gin provided by Spirit of the Rock and plenty of other freebies so that visitors would leave with a good taste in their mouths (pun intended!).
From the perspective of local businesses and attraction providers, the Gibraltar Pass is a complete blessing and a great channel to attract additional footfall and drive visitors to spend more time and more money in Gibraltar. There is absolutely no cost at all for retailers/restaurants/tourism operators and other businesses in Gibraltar to be part of this. The only thing they are being asked to do is to provide Gibraltar Pass holders with a special discount/special offer or Freebie they will receive upon presenting their valid Gibraltar Pass. In fact, participating attractions, retailers and other businesses also benefit from significant marketing exposure at no cost; a digital platform to regularly communicate special offers and promotions at no cost; potential to earn commission from sales of the Gibraltar Pass by featuring links to the Gibraltar Pass website on their business website; and bespoke statistics on visitor numbers to their business.
On a national scale, the Gibraltar Pass benefits the whole of Gibraltar in a number of ways:
For a start, it provides Gibraltar with a comprehensive digital tourism product, fitting the needs of the 21st century visitor.
Second, it is an environmentally friendly product as it is paperless but more importantly encourages visitors to leave their cars on the Spanish side and use public transport – as transport from and to the border is included in the Pass.
Third, it gives much exposure to a whole range of attractions and experiences that previously may have not been known to visitors such as the gin production facility, escape room, e-bike, diving experience, yacht charter, sailing experience and much more- so visitors see there much more to Gibraltar than the apes!