May 26, 2010, 1:53 PM
Minister of Tourism and Culture has disclosed plans to start the construction
of an eco-lodge hotel in Barra soon.
Hamat Bah was speaking on Tuesday during a meeting with the communities of Juffureh and Albreda as part of his countrywide tour to visit all tourism and cultural facilities under his ministry.
He assured the people the in the area that the construction is going to happen as soon as funds are available.
Minister Bah informed that “when we took over this country, there was total failure and image of the country was destroyed internationally. As a result of that, we virtually lost everything and to regain that image with these little resources on our hands, we have to use our experience and knowhow to convince people to come back to this country,” he stated.
He indicated that the number of tourists who arrived during this year’s season is very impressive, owing it to the fact that tourists that we are looking for are not in The Gambia that means we are obliged to go out and reach-out to them to convince them to come back to this country.
“We need to visit some of our cultural sites and tourism facilities and then see how much and how best we can do under the National Tourism Expansion Programme (NTE). The government has started embarking on this by training Gambian youths to be able to manage tourism facilities.”
He continued: “We have trained youths and it is important that responsible and sustainable tourism policy and programmes become the cornerstone of the ministry and government of The Gambia”.
Dilating on the road network, Minister Bah assured the people of Upper Niumi that in the next thirty days, construction on the road will start, assuring that the funds are already secured.
“We are finalising arrangement for it to start the construction. As I always say, the greatness of a country is not measured by the size of its economy or the size of her army. It is measured by its ability to preserve, educate and protect the past, using as a source of impression for national development,” he affirmed.
Minister Bah further asserted that all the great countries today used their past experiences and that’s why “when we came on board, we revamped completely and re-organised the National Centre for Arts and Culture. Now it has grown between 2 to 300% and since we took over, it has change direction and we start seeing the dividend of that,” he stated.