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Stakeholders discuss ways to attract 500,000 tourists

Oct 29, 2015, 10:00 AM | Article By: Njie Baldeh

Stakeholders in the tourism industry Monday gathered at a local hotel to discuss issues confronting tourism development in The Gambia, and how to achieve the target of attracting half a million tourists.

They also assessed the state of preparedness for the 2015/16 tourist season.

Minister of Tourism and Culture Benjamin Roberts said a lot of work needs to be done to develop the country’s tourism industry, and overcome the impact of the Ebola crisis that hit a few countries in the sub-region.

The Gambia was not directly affected by the crisis, but the local tourism industry has suffered its consequences.

The minister said that during his recently ended countrywide tour of tourist facilities, he had seen issues that needed to be brought to the attention of the tourism stakeholders.

Momodou Joof, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Tourism, said the meeting would come up with recommendations that could take the country to the next level, in terms tourism development.

“We are hopeful that the tourism sector will kick up in a manner which we would all want to see,” he said, adding that there is reason for “great optimism”.

Mr Joof said the optimism can only materialised if they discuss all the issues that are relevant to the promotion and development of Gambian tourism, including identifying the challenges and the way forward.

The senior tourism official said that through such meetings and discussions, they can attain the target of bringing half a million tourists to The Gambia by the year 2020.

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