The Ministry of Tourism and its satellite institutions of The Gambia Tourism Board, Gambia Tourism and Hospitality Institute (GTHI) and the National Centre for Arts and Culture (NCAC), on Friday embarked on a weeklong nationwide tour of tourism facilities.
The tour, sponsored by The Gambia Tourism Board, is an annual pre-season tour designed to evaluate the level of preparedness and conditions of upcountry facilities regarding quality, standard and services. It is also meant to evaluate the readiness of the operators and other stakeholders involved in the tourism industry.
As part of the inspection, senior officials from the Ministry and its satellite institutions were joined by other stakeholders such as Parliamentary Sub-Tourism Committee, Tourism Security Unit (TSU) and members of the press.
Among the tourism facilities inspected were guest houses, camps and lodges; namely Bintang Bolong in Foni Bintang; Tendaba Camp in Tendaba village; Moses Motel in Soma; Bird Safari Camp; Baobolong Annex in Janjangbureh; Bintou’s Lodge in Bansang; Kauren Tourist Facility in Kaur; Eddy’s Motel in Farafenni; Kunta Kinteh Roots Camp in Albreda; Rising Sun Bar and Restaurant in Albreda; Mandela Guest House in Essau; Bai Modou Lodge in Barra among others.
They also interacted with the operators of those facilities to know their constraints, strength and as well expectation regarding licensing, quality and control.
However, from the inspection it was found out that few of the places visited were not up to standard, but the team was happy about the level of preparedness and readiness of some of the camps and lodges in the upcountry especially those that have carried out renovation.
The inspection was expected to continue in the Tourism Development Area yesterday, and the team was to visit places like Balafong Hotel in Kololi, Sunset Beach Hotel in Kotu, Princess Apartments in Kololi; Kairaba Beach Hotel in Kololi, Ocean Bay/Red Croc/Sun Beach in Cape Point, Calypso Beach, Coco Ocean Spa and Resort, Coral Beach Hotel, Foot Steps Eco Lodge, Tanji Bird Reserve Lodge, Rainbow Beach Bar, Sandele Eco Lodge and Reptile Farm, among others.
by Yunus S Saliu