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Promising season: more tourists arrive

Nov 9, 2015, 11:28 AM | Article By: Njie Baldeh

A flight carrying one hundred and ninety tourists Friday landed at Banjul International Airport, making it the fourth flight to arrive for the 2015/16 tourist season.Speaking to journalists shortly after the aircraft landed, Adama Cham, statistics manager, Gambia Tourism Board, thanked both Alkamba Tour Operator and Rainbow Tour for collaborating with The Gambia Tourism Board to bring more tourists from Poland.

“We were here last week to receive the first flight from the UK, and we are here to witness the first tourist arrivals from Poland, which is another development for this year’s tourist season,” he said.

He added that Poland is another special market for The Gambia, in addition to The Gambia’s traditional markets, which have been the UK, Sweden and other European countries.

The GTBoard statistics manager told journalists that in 2013, the Minister of Tourism, who was then the director of The Gambia Tourism Board, went with a high-powered delegation to Poland to market the destination, which led to receiving a flight from that country.

This means that they have seen the efforts of the Minister and his team, he said.

“Currently, our team is in the WTM and they are in Russia. We are trying to diversify our market and Poland is a key target and potential market for The Gambia,” he noted.

The Gambia is a perfect destination and he was really glad with the number of tourists received, he added.

Kebba Drammeh, director of operations at Alkamba Tour, said that last year the Polish people were not in The Gambia due to the Ebola crisis, but a year before it was a very good season, adding that “this year the bookings are very good”.

He added that Alkamba is bringing tourists and, as tour operators, they are in charge of the flight, hotel accommodation and other arrangements on behalf of Rainbow in Poland.

Mr Drammeh disclosed that the flight will be coming every Friday night, as this was the first flight from the Eastern European country.

He said they are looking forward to seeing more flights as they continue to do promotional marketing to get more destinations on board.

He said Eastern Europe had not been too involved in tourism, but they have been able to get countries from there due to marketing done by GTB in collaboration with other stakeholders.

They would continue to go in for more markets like Russia and sooner or later they would market The Gambia to other destinations, he added.

“At the moment, we are not differentiating between low spenders and high spenders, but the best thing is to sell The Gambia as a destination,” Mr Drammeh said.

He added that they are very impressed with the arrivals to The Gambia as a tourist destination.

Kamil Juwa, head of operations at Rainbow Tour, said they would continue their operation in earnest as they think The Gambia is the best destination in the whole of West Africa.

“We advertise about The Gambia in Poland and we also have strong publicity in the internet, as well as organising a conference in Poland to talk about The Gambia,” he said. 

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