The Gambia Tourism Board (GTBoard) in partnership with the British Embassy Monday conducted a two-day training for 200 Tourism Security Unit (TSU) personnel.
The training, which was organised under the British Consular Fund Project of the British Embassy, sought to continue making The Gambia a safe destination for tourists and enhance its security .
Among the areas covered by the training included tourism security & counter terrorism, customer care, child protection & tourism offences, and responsible tourism.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, the minister of Tourism and Culture, Benjamin A. Roberts registered his Ministry’s appreciation to the Embassy for its support and partnership with the GTBoard in holding the training. He noted that British nationals still form the largest cohort of tourists visiting The Gambia.
Minister Roberts further called on the trainees to take advantage of the training as tourism is quite a relevant sector in terms of economic growth and development of a country.
“Tourism is quite a relevant sector in terms of our economic development and aspirations either in regards to Vision 2020, 2025 or the Strategic Plan of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture along with the satellite institutions. It has a key role in all of those developmental blueprints,” he said.
The minister dilated on all the subject areas the training covered and advised the personnel to conduct themselves in good ways and manners when carrying out their different responsibilities, as conduct he said is very important.
He told them to treat others the same way in which they would want themselves to be treated. He also urged them to treat any challenge with professionalism and be mindful in how they carry out their duties.
The British ambassador to The Gambia, Colin Crorkin said everyone has a key role in helping to promote the Gambia’s tourism sector. He emphasised that everyone should be in the frontline so that tourists go back with positive experience and not just only to come back but to send the positive experience to others as they look forward to their next holiday.
Furthermore, he noted that the more the tourism sector develops the better for the economy of The Gambia as it will create employment opportunities and the more the country can expand its tourism season.
Abdoulie Hydara, the director general of GTBoard expounded on the importance of the training to the participants. He appealed to their commander to at least allow them to stay on the ground to serve the unit for longer periods before changing them. Without this, he said it would only help to defeat the purpose of the training.
Lt. Col. Essa Tamba commended both GTBoard and the British Embassy for this wonderful partnership and requested more of such trainings for the security personnel in future.
by Yunus S. Saliu