The President of The Republic of The Gambia,
State House, FAJARA.
5th. July 2017
THE BENEFITS AND CHALLENGES OF TOURISM TO THE GAMBIA
I wish to take this opportunity once more to send my warmest congratulations to you and your family on your appointment to the highest office of our beloved country, The Gambia. We pray to Allah to continue to guide and protect you and see your dreams for the country come through with peace, progress and prosperity.
I did intimate to you during our last meeting and my address to you and your delegation at the AbubacakSidiq Mosque on 23rd June 2017, the expectation of the country and its people base on the three Wolof words: Dolleh, Daraja ak Derem.
You’re Excellency, my livelihood and that of many Gambians depend on the tourism industry which is referred to as the backbone of the country. The industry contributes over 20% of our GDP, it offers gainful employment both directly and indirectly, it provides much needed foreign exchange earnings and also contributes towards our yearly balance of payment.
Your Excellency, The Gambia has been a leading tourist destination in the sub-region with good policies and practices but over the years we lacked behind in many ways due to lack of commitment and political will.
Sir, it is this political will and commitment that we now seek from your government in which, we entrust our hopes to salvage our dear industry that provides us our livelihood and our survival for that matter.
In this vain, I kindly request that Tourism be accorded a strategic sector in the development agenda of your government.
It is regrettable that in two of your government’s statements references were made on Agriculture, Health, Energy and lately Education has been added as priority areas, thus omitting Tourism which is key in our nation’s development.
I have been assured by the Hon. Minister of Tourism and Culture that it was an oversight that Tourism was omitted and it will be rectified as a matter of priority. Since this rectification has not been forthcoming, I felt obliged to seek your urgent intervention on the issue.
Sir, I have managed to compile key benefits and challenges of the sector for you and your Cabinet to know how much Tourism and Culture contributes towards our economy and the key challenges that the sector faces for your consideration in addressing the key areas of priority of your government.
Your Excellency, Be rest assured of my continued support at all times for the development of the tourism industry of “The Smiling Coast “.
Sheikh Tejan Nyang,
Head of School ITTOG
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Tourism & Culture,
Director General Gambia Tourism Board.