May 24, 2013, 1:05 PM
he official signing ceremony held at the Kairaba Beach Hotel was witnessed by the Minister of Tourism and Culture and senior officials from the Gambia Tourism Board.
In her welcoming speech, Fatou Mass Jobe-Njie, Minister of Tourism and Culture, thanked the government of Turkey through the Turkey’s ambassador for the agreement between the two countries.
According to her, the move is another achievement and boost for the development of tourism in the country.
Minister Jobe-Njie said the broadening of collaboration with Turkey in Tourism is expected to improve product development, human resource development and tourism investment in The Gambia and this in turn will lead to enhancement of visitor experience and a surge in tourist arrivals.
According to her, tourism in Turkey has witnessed rapid growth over the past years. “This is illustrated by the accelerated growth of the number of visitors and night spent, as well as other economic indicators related to hotel capacity and tourism investment,” she added.
The Tourism minister revealed that the tourism industry is estimated to employ 75,000 people both direct and indirect employment, which is 14.9 per cent of total employment.
According to the minister, on the other hand, Turkey has become popular destination for culture, spa and health care tourism.
Momodou Joof, acting-permanent secretary of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, said the day was another historic moment between the two countries.
Turkey is a long time friend of The Gambia and it has been helping the country in especially education and defence, he noted.
PS Joof added that Turkey and The Gambia shared a lot in common when it comes to tourism.
Ali Risa Ozcoskun, ambassador of the Republic of Turkey, thanked the Gambia government through the Ministry of Tourism for signing of the important agreement between the two countries in tourism and culture.
Turkey has a vast experience in tourism and culture, which they hope to share with The Gambia, he said
The ambassador added that with this agreement, the bilateral cooperation between the two countries will be further strengthened.