Responsible tourism in The Gambia
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
In April 2012, participants and stakeholders in the tourism industry and outside the sector from Cameroon, Germany, Kenya, Nigeria, Poland, Spain, UK, Zimbabwe and the host country, The Gambia, converged at the Kombo Beach Hotel and Sandele Eco, Kartong and discussed responsible tourism and local economic development in West Africa.
It was a
high level symposium as what has been learnt in The Gambia about how
stakeholders can work together to use tourism as related to the words of the
Cape Town Declaration “Better Places for People to Live in and Better Places for
People to Visit.”
symposium was really utilized as participants had the opportunity to learn more
about twelve years of responsible tourism in The Gambia as stakeholders and
participants takes responsibility of making tourism more sustainable.
So also, during this critical reflection forum, hence The Gambia is widely recognized as an important laboratory for responsible tourism. It became an avenue for the stakeholders and general participants to share their experiences of what has been learnt over the last 10 years in The Gambia especially on how tourism can be used to benefit local communities.
were greatly opened to ranges of initiatives that attracted more discussions on
successes and failures, while stakeholders were opportuned to meet those that
took the initiatives and those that worked with the beneficiaries. Adama
Bah-ICRT-WA, Harold Goodwin-ICRETH, Leeds Metropolitan University; Dr A B S
Taal-UTG among others presented papers during the symposium.
about 12 years of responsible tourism development in The Gambia, Adama Bah,
presented and introduced the responsible tourism as commitment to ethical
principles by addressing social issues and poverty seriously not just for the
money or the environment.
So also, RT should include the right to say ‘yes or no’ to tourism consultation and commitment for creating consumer awareness. RT also means making available resource to implement RT projects; social and environmental monitoring and as well as evaluation to determine progress.
policy for Responsible tourism and it involved influence from Cape Town RT
Conference and Declaration in 2002; the RT policy of the Gambia done and
presented at the World Travel Market in 2004. In responsible tourism policy,
the way in which The Gambia is marketed is a central part of the process of
implementing responsible tourism principle in The Gambia.
To enable the industry to grow, attracting market segments which value the natural and cultural heritage assets of the Gambia was sought. So also are, to differentiate The Gambia from other sun, and sea destination; enjoy high levels of repeat business; and to build on those elements of the product which encourage repeat visiting.
We recognize that the further development of the industry in The Gambia and investment in it depend upon planning and product development which meets the requirement of the evolving market. However, destination are made, our destination should be made by us not for us as it is duty of everyone to take responsibility.
In conclusion, to achieve the triple bottom line of economic, environment and social development, there is a need to work with the government for genuine change and achievement.
Author: Yunus Saliu