#Article (Archive)

Mboka 2008

Oct 9, 2008, 5:55 AM

In a few days' time, The Gambia will be playing host to stakeholders in the tourism industry across the West Africa sub region. Tagged MBOKA 2008, it will be held on 18-22 October 2008.

The strategic objective of the initiative is "to support West African governments and tourism in a manner that contributes to both local development and to poverty alleviation, community empowerment and the protection of the environment".

And it is open to a wide range of participants. These include: European tour operators searching for new and sustainable tourism products; sustainable products looking for market access; hotels and destinations interested in becoming more sustainable; governments looking for exchange of experiences and success stories. Others include promotion agencies searching for partnerships; development agencies identifying new approaches and promising initiatives; and private investors looking for opportunities and inspiration.

So there is something for anybody and everybody at Mboka 2008. All you need do is participate and contribute to improved living standards in the sub region.

We need such initiatives in our quest to alleviate poverty, to promote peace and stability, and to ensure a better life for everyone in the sub region.

But we are disturbed that given the international character of the event, enough publicity has not been done yet. We expect that by now, Mboka 2008 should be the talk of the town. Apart from the newspaper advert very little publicity has been given to this event. There should be billboards at the airport, seaport and major car parks across the country to create awareness about the forthcoming event. There should be sustained radio and TV commercials about the event. The more people get to know and talk about the event, the more successful it will be. The Gambia foreign missions abroad should also be involved in publicising Mboka 2008. It is a big public relations event for the country.

Key stakeholders such as the Gambia Tourism Authority (GTA) should be making press appearances now to talk more about the event. This is a big event, so we must talk about it again and again.