Nov 14, 2008, 5:02 AM
The contribution of tourism industry to nation-building is immense and makes the sector very vital to the socioeconomic development of the country.
Annually, thousands of visitors come to The Gambia because of its beautiful beaches, birds, sunshine and the country’s biggest asset: the Gambian people, whose hospitality and friendliness have made it “The Smiling Coast.”
Tourism is providing employment for over 100,000 Gambians. More and more visitors are returning year after year.
However, in order to maximise the much-needed benefit from the industry, it is important for all the stakeholders in the tourism sector to ensure quality service delivery.
It is our belief that in order for the tourism sub-sector to become more vibrant, there should be more innovation and investment in the sector.
By so doing, this will, no doubt, make this crucial sector of the economy more productive, thus attracting more tourists to The Gambia.
Despite the fact that the country has very good hotels and beaches, as well as good echo-tourism sites to attract international visitors, marketing and quality service delivery is still a major challenge in the industry.
We, therefore, challenge the Ministry of Tourism and Culture and the Gambia Tourism Board to intensify their efforts in marketing the country, since the destination is attractive, safe and worth visiting.
With the support of the tour operators, both public and private, coupled with the collaboration of the ministry and Gambia Tourism Board, GTB, the industry can significantly improve and benefit all and sundry.
The country has a lot to offer.