Responsible tourism and livelihood symposium underway
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
A 4-day symposium tagged ‘Responsible Tourism and Livelihood’ and organised by the International Centre for Responsible Tourism-West Africa (ICRT-WA), in collaboration with the students of the University of The Gambia (UTG) is currently underway at Kombo Beach Hotel, Kotu and in Sandele Eco Spa, Kartong.
Declaring the symposium open, Noah Touray, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, who deputised for the minister, said it is over 12 years that The Gambia has been involved in responsible tourism (RT) and that since then responsible tourism policy has been developed with the participation of stakeholders through the RT partnership.
He further stated that it is no coincidence that The Gambia hosts an MSc Programme on responsible tourism in collaboration with the UTG, ICRT-WA and the University of Leeds Metropolitan in the UK.
PS Touray noted that tourism is an important economic activity in The Gambia; “as a result, MoTC is relentless in its efforts to promote The Gambia as a responsible tourism destination,” he added.
The PS went on to disclose that about 150,000 visitors were received in the country last year, adding that his Ministry and other stakeholders are working hard to attract more tourists.
“In addition, MoTC has been working with Association of Small Scale Enterprises in Tourism (ASSET) since 2000 to increase the opportunities of goods and services to benefit from tourism by selling their products to tourists and tourism businesses.
RT partnership with the hoteliers, incoming tour operators, originating market operators, the Gambian Tourism Board (GTB) and ASSET are all with the same goals to help the MoTC to grow the industry and enable Gambians to earn as much as possible from the industry,” he said.
Adama Bah of Travel and Tour Foundation presented a paper on the 12 years of RT in The Gambia while Dr Saja Taal, a senior lecturer at the UTG deliberated on the history of tourism in The Gambia.
Author: Yunus S. Salieu