Tourism arrivals in 2018 surpassed annual growth of 21.3% as envisaged in NDP

Thursday, September 05, 2019

The arrival in the number of tourists in 2018 surpassed an annual growth target of 21.3 percent as embedded in National Development Plan (NDP), meaning the  number will reach at 350,000 tourists by the year 2021 (only arrivals by air).

According to the NDP, while international tourist arrivals grew 6 percent world-wide in 2018, Africa recorded a growth of 7 percent and sub-Saharan Africa 6 percent.

With a growth of 29 percent, The Gambia has surpassed the international, regional, and sub-regional averages and tourism value added as a proportion of GDP, which was approximately 21 percent, up from 16 percent in 2017.

However, the NDP further indicated that direct employment for Gambians was 41,800 from 35,000 in 2017, and foreign exchange earnings from tourism was approximately 128 million dollars from 104 million in 2017, an increase of 23 percent.

The sector has increased the number of tourist flights to “destination Gambia” from 50 to 57 flights, an increase that surpassed by 8 percent, the 21 percent increase in arrivals; results that was the target for 2018. “Specifically, Thomas Cook Holland for the first time flew twice a week to The Gambia as a direct chartered flight with 180 seats to Banjul and also jetted in tourists during the summer.”

“Destination Gambia registered the first direct flights (3 times a month with 350 tourists) from Russia to Banjul, while TUI Poland started its all year-round operation during the summer.”

“TUI Belgium charter flight started flying to The Gambia after being away for more than 16 years.”

Author: Njie Baldeh