Gibraltar is about to derive major benefits from the planned expansion of tourist accommodation. In addition to the Holiday Inn Express in Devil’s Tower Road which is soon to open its doors to visitors, the Indigo Hotel will be built on the Corral Road site currently occupied by NatWest bank and, in addition, there are developments planned for new serviced aparthotels on Devils Tower Road, Engineer Lane and on the site of the vacant Continental Hotel (although this final application is still going through the outline planning process).
In total, these developments would make almost 500 new rooms available for visitors to Gibraltar.
The InterContinental Hotel Group’s Holiday Inn Express on Devil’s Tower Road will be operated under a franchise deal with G&JB Hotels. The 120-room hotel will also include a restaurant, bar and meeting facilities. It will be one of 2,400 Holiday Inn Express hotels worldwide.
The Indigo Hotel will be accommodated within the vacant building whose ground floor is currently occupied by the NatWest bank. The building, which will be gutted and refurbished, will also offer 120 bedrooms, a gym and a restaurant that will aim to attract local customers from Gibraltar as well as targeting visitors to the hotel.
Meanwhile, planning consent has been granted for City Homes Hospitality’s 184-bed Apartment Hotel on Devil’s Tower Road. This 10-storey building, right next to the multi-storey car park, will provide a mix of studios, one-bed and two-bed suites, each with its own terrace, along with a gym, meeting rooms and a rooftop restaurant.
More serviced apartments will be available at 29 – 37 Engineer Lane. This development, to be known as ‘The Suites,’ will be on seven floors with the higher levels being set back from the façade. In total, it will provide 50 apartments.
In a development which is yet to obtain outline planning approval, 22 apartments are proposed for a new building on the site of the vacant Continental Hotel. Again, the proposed top two additional storeys will be set back from the street-facing façade so that the building’s appearance would be in keeping with the town centre’s street scene.
These new hotels demonstrate that the Government’s tourism marketing strategy is working, that there is a recognition in the continued potential for an increase in the number of visitors to Gibraltar and shows that investor confidence in Gibraltar is high.
The Minister with responsibility for Tourism Gilbert Licudi said: “The expansion and increased variety of hotel accommodation will be welcome by visitors to Gibraltar and will assist greatly in the continued drive of the Government in the field of event-led tourism. There are now a number of established sporting and cultural events in the Gibraltar calendar when Gibraltar hotels are completely sold out. The addition of more beds to our hotel stock can therefore only be seen as a positive development.”
The Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia said: “I have been involved with many of these projects at an early stage representing the Government as landlord. There can be no doubt that as they move from the planning stages through the construction stage and then to completion, these hotels will make an important contribution to Gibraltar which will generate employment and economic growth.”