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GIBRALTAR’S ROCK HOTEL –

PART OF A FAMILY-OWNED GROUP OF COMPANIES

 Opened by the Marquis of Bute in 1932, The Rock Hotel has been owned by the Bland Group since 1959. With the Group’s acquisition of the Hotel, an extensive development plan for the property was set in motion adding new rooms and guest amenities. As part of the Bland Group, The Rock Hotel can call on a range of supporting services and facilities from its sister companies to the great advantage of its guests.

 Marcus Henry Bland, a Liverpool merchant, founded the group in Gibraltar in 1810. Originally a shipping agency, the company moved into steam ship owning in 1861 and its activities between Gibraltar and Tangier were many – towing ships through the Strait, acting as a passenger service and transporting cargo such as tea, cattle and supplies for Gibraltar’s military garrison. Since there was no male heir to the Bland family, Joseph and Manuel Gaggero – who worked in the Bland administration - bought the business in 1891 and Joseph became the Chairman.

 Down the years, Joseph Gaggero’s son, George and grandson, Joseph have continued to take the Group from strength to strength. Wise business acumen has been adopted to tackle such challenges as those presented by the Spanish Civil War, World War II and the border closure between Spain and Gibraltar (1968-1982). The Group’s activities were diversified appropriately and each generation has placed their own stamp on its development – embracing coal bunkering and ship repairs, becoming the main shareholder in Gibraltar Airways (now known as GB Airways – an independent franchise partner for British Airways) in 1931, establishing ferry links between Gibraltar and Tangier and expanding further into Britain, Spain and North Africa.

 In this way, the Bland Group has grown impressively within the realms of air, sea and land transport. With the Group’s activities now anchored in the UK, Bland companies also operate in or to Bermuda, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey, Madeira, Malta, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Tunisia and the USA. Today, Joseph Gaggero heads up the Bland Group as Chairman with his son, James as Deputy Chairman.

 Sister companies extending services to, and within, Gibraltar include GB Airways, tour operator Cadogan Holidays, Bland Freight, Bland Travel and Bland Motor Transport along with local representation for AVIS Rent-a-car, American Express Travel Service and United Parcel Services (UPS).

 “Guests of The Rock Hotel – either as individuals or within groups – can count upon their visit to Gibraltar, and excursions into Spain and Morocco, being further enhanced by the Bland portfolio of travel-related services,” explains the Hotel’s General Manager, Stephen Davenport. “The Hotel’s focus on superior guest care is well-matched by the expertise of our sister companies.”