‘Tourism has the potential to increase gov’t revenue’
Thursday, May 31, 2012
The secretary general and head of the Civil Service says
that tourism has the potential to increase government revenue, reduce poverty
and create employment opportunities.
Dr. Njogou L Bah made this remark during the opening of the first ever two-day capacity building initiative and refresher on quality and service standards workshop organised by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture for stakeholders in the industry at the Senegambia Beach Hotel in Kololi.
He noted that currently tourism is recognised to be a major economic and social activity in most countries, as international tourist arrivals will soon reach the one billion mark by the end of 2012. He said the world’s economy has seen unprecedented shocks and turbulence that had affected much of the developed world which impacted negatively on employment and people’s welfare while “tourism in spite of all that fared quite positively’.
SG Bah further noted that in 2011, international tourist arrivals grew by 4% in spite of the economic challenges reaching all-time record of 980 million adding that Africa in particular has been one of the regions showing best results in recent years, which is a welcome news as tourism gains strategic significance in terms of job creation and development.
He went on to disclose that forecasts for international
arrival to Africa show that there will be 77.3 million in 2020. This, according
to him, represents an annual growth rate of 5.5% over the period 1995 – 2020,
which is above the global growth rate of 4.1% and consequently the overall
share of arrivals to Africa is expected to increase over the forecast period to
5% in 2020.
He added: “It is therefore evident from the foregoing that the future of tourism is bright, but in an increasingly globalised and competitive world, it is incumbent on tourism destinations such as The Gambia to embrace innovation and design more robust strategies with a view to mainstreaming quality in our operations and exceed the expectations of our myriad of guests in the various hospitality establishments.”
Author: Yunus S Saliu