‘Tourism underwent tremendous transformation’
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
The minister of Tourism and Culture has said that the tourism sector as an industry has undergone tremendous transformation in the recent past. Fatou Mass Jobe-Njie made the remark during the recent Ecowas Tourism Ministers’ Summit hosted by The Gambia at the Kairaba Beach Hotel in Kololi.
this tremendous transformation came as a result of the dynamic changes at the
global level, which has necessitated the adoption of certain reforms at both
global and national levels in order to meet the challenges and stay
competitive. She also
commented on the global economic turbulence, exacerbated by political upheavals
in some parts of the world such as the Middle East, North Africa and back here
in Sahel Region, the resultant shocks of which have undoubtedly affected
tourism albeit its resilience in some countries.
minister said that despite this, it is gratifying to note that at the level of
Ecowas, some very pragmatic, robust programmes and projects have been ongoing
and are underpinned by a consistent consultative process.
Commenting on the level of development of the tourism sectors of the Ecowas states, Minister Jobe-Njie noted that while some countries have a relatively successful tourism industry that contributes significantly to the national economy, others are only beginning to experience some modest development in their tourism sectors, while some are affected by ongoing conflict. “In spite of these disadvantages, the potentials for our sub-region to emerge as a hot spot tourism multi-destination remain huge,” she added.
In terms of experience, the minister said that The Gambia hopes to be in the forefront in terms of sharing best practice and experiences. “This is borne out of the fact that Gambia has over the years laid a solid foundation for its tourism sector and over the course of time accumulated a wide range of expertise in terms of tourism management and planning as well as responsible tourism development,” she further remarked.
Dwelling on responsible tourism development, the Tourism minister said a lot of strides have been registered, which include developing and putting in place a responsible tourism policy, articulating a functional eco-tourism policy, being host to the International Centre for Responsible Tourism (ICRT) and institutionalising an interactive and unique partnership between the public and private sectors in terms of responsible tourism partnership.
Author: Yunus S Saliu