Aug 11, 2008, 7:07 AM
As this year's tourist season kicks-off to a promising start, a Scandinavian flight comprising two hundred and eleven holiday-makers last Thursday arrived in the country.
Speaking to the press shortly after the arrival of this year?s first flight of tourists, Mr. Morten Evensen, the Area Manager for Thomas Cook Airlines said that the season might be bright even though economic crisis is all over the world.
Mr. Evensen described The Gambia as a peaceful and cheapest country for tourists, noting that most Scandinavian tourists like to visit The Gambia.
"The booking as of now shows that the season will be positive, and Thomas Cook Airlines will bring six hundred and thirty three guests every week," he disclosed.
Director of Marketing at the Gambia Tourism Authority, Lamin Saho said that tourism these days faces a lot of challenges, due to the global crises.
He adduced that GTA, in collaboration with stakeholders in the tourism industry and the central government is doing everything possible to make The Gambia an attractive destination.
Saho labeled the Scandinavians as one of their loyal customers, whom he added, were attracted mainly by the hospitability of Gambians. He disclosed that they want to expand in other markets like UK, Spain and Russia.
For his part, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Mr. Kaliba Senghore outlined the importance of peace and tranquility, which he noted, attracts lots of tourists.
"Although we lost some operators over the years but notwithstanding we are trying all efforts to recover that. We are expecting flight diversion from other countries to The Gambia and also hope that The Gambia ecotourism could be another avenue for attracting tourists to visit the country," he said.
Responding to a question on how to maintain improvement in the tourism sector, Senghore stated that The Gambia does not have natural resources that other countries have. But was quick to add that "its human resources, the friendliness and peaceful people are what they utilise to attract tourists."