The chairman of The Gambia Tourism Board’s Governing Council, Bakary K. Jammeh, has remarked that The Gambia International Bird Festival seeks to strengthen the country’s profile as the number one birding destination in this part of Africa.
He added that the Festival has been designed in a way to amplify our commitment to rural and community tourism development which is a key objective of the government.
“Furthermore, the Festival shall reinforce our efforts to support birding in Destination Gambia and by extension the conservation of birding destinations, which are spread across the length and breadth of the Smiling Coast particularly the highly rated Kiang West National Park located just a stone’s throw from this venue,” Jammeh said while presiding over the official opening of the five-day Festival in Tendaba, LRR on Friday.
“It is equally gratifying to point out that this Festival has a very strong community and responsible tourism dimension. Another key objective of this Festival, which is firmly rooted in conservation and preservation of our bird stock including their habitats is the protection of the Black Crane for now and posterity. The Black Crane has been identified and branded as the Bird of the Festival.”
Chairman Jammeh added that The Gambia is certainly a paradise for many reasons, but most of all it is certainly a dreamland for birds and those who love watching them in their sanctuary. Therefore, he added, this Festival is a fitting celebration of this very important niche, which has henceforth been elevated to a major tourism product in Destination Gambia- a land were beautiful and exotic birds of very different features flock together.
“On this note I wish to express my sincere gratitude to His Excellency the President and his government for the tremendous support given to the Tourism sector, and the Hon. Minister of Tourism and Culture for his leadership,” he added.
“On behalf of my colleagues in the Governing Council, I wish to commend the director general and his team and all the partners for conceptualising and making this festival a reality.”
He thanked the community of Tendaba for according them with warm hospitality. “To our auspicious guests and distinguished participants, I welcome you wholeheartedly on behalf of the local community to the Smiling Coast of Africa and Tendaba in particular. Please feel at home and enjoy the sights, sounds and the birds of the Smiling Coast of Africa,” he concluded.