Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Ministry over the past two weeks or so dominated the news with a vide range of
activities. Most recent is the expansion of the country’s tourist market with
the introduction of new carriers, the latest of which is the Gambia Bird.
developments are obvious, a manifestation of the commitment of the Ministry and
the Tourism Board to the socio-economic well being of Gambians. The high sense
of innovation and creativity driving Minister Jobe-Njie and her team is indeed
creditable and with support, particularly from the populace, the tourism
industry can become a force to reckon with.
It cannot be forgotten that the growth of tourism is indeed good for our country. The tourists bring much needed hard currency. The hotels, tour operators, ground handlers, museums, and other sites give jobs to hundreds of Gambians. Now tourism has become a whole industry of its own. Government through the Tourism Ministry is playing its part very well; other stakeholders should complement this effort.
foundation for the growth of the industry is already solid, the Banjul
International Airport is now world class, and can handle tourist flights of
various configurations. It is also secure; the peace and stability that our
country is known for is a good attraction. The beaches are in good order and
two of our remarkable landmarks -James Island and the Stone Circles were
inscribed into the prestigious World Heritage Site List in 2003 and 2006
respectively, which means that they are part of the patrimony of humankind.
These developments alone are a major
boost to the potential of The Gambia as a tourist destination. Additionally, many
colleges are now offering courses in travel and tourism, so that in addition to the hotel school graduates,
more and more Gambians are now being trained to run travel and tourism
businesses. Soon our country will become one of the most important tourist
destinations in Africa.
There is a lot for our country to gain from tourism. All hands should be on deck to maximise the impact of tourism on our society, more jobs, more tourist philantropists, as well as infrastructural development. Tourism is a viable industry, and nothing should be spared by all stakeholders to make sure that the industry grows from strength to strength and continues to play a role in national development as envisioned in Vision 2020.
While we welcome Gambia Bird to the Smiling Coast, we cannot conclude without extending kudos once more to the Ministry of Tourism & Culture and GTBoard and urge them to keep up the momentum
Author: Daily Observer