#Article (Archive)

The Gambia Experience Launches New 2009/2010 Brochure

Jun 25, 2009, 4:45 AM

The UK's leading tour operator in The Gambia, with twenty two years' experience, has released its November 2009- October 2010 brochure to UK holidaymakers this week. The brochure has also been issued to top UK travel agencies and travel media.

The Gambia Experience also reported that with extra marketing and support from Hoteliers - providing early booking offers and similar - they have managed to maintain the same level of bookings as they had last year.

Chris Rowles, the Managing Director of The Gambia Experience comments: "The Gambia has always represented great value for money and in recent months we have noticed holidaymakers making a deliberate switch from long-haul destinations and coming to us to try something 'new' outside of the Euro-zone."

The Gambia Experience hotel portfolio for 2009/2010 presents 20 properties classified within one of three categories: 'The Luxury Collection'; 'Excellent Quality Hotels' or 'Great Value for Money Hotels' - many of which, particularly the 'deluxe' / 'eco', are exclusive to the tour operator.

The Coco Ocean Resort & Spa, which opened in December 2008, has been successful in attracting yet more 'luxury' clientele to Africa's 'Smiling Coast' and was fully-booked during its first four months of winter operation.

The Gambia Experience is keen to promote The Gambia as more than just a 'Winter Sun' destination, and thus offers twice-weekly flights from London Gatwick to Banjul year-round.

Throughout the winter season, weekly UK regional departures are also available from Bristol, East Midlands and - new for 2009/2010 - Birmingham. This winter, Manchester regional departures to Banjul will operate twice weekly on Saturdays and Mondays.

Since its first season of operation (Winter 08/09), its sister company The Senegal Experience has added three new hotels to its programme, meaning that the specialist now offers twelve hotels in total split between the regions of Saly and La Somone, and the Sine Saloum Delta. With The Senegal Experience offering scheduled flights into Dakar, twin-centres between The Gambia and Senegal can easily be arranged.

The Gambia Experience is offering its clients a chance to learn some Gambian 'home cookery' skills with Ida Njie, who worked in the tourism industry for twenty years, and now offers cookery courses at her home in Brufut.

The day's course includes visiting the local market, preparing and cooking a traditional meal and eating 'with the family'. There is also the added option to experience and learn local drumming skills.

UK celebrity ornithologist Chris Packham - currently co-hosting BBC2's Springwatch - is once again returning to the Gambia to lead four or seven-day Bird Watching Tours, departing in February 2010.

The Gambia Experience is now accredited with 5-star AITO (Association of Independent Tour Operators) Responsible Tourism status - the highest level possible.

Accolades for The Gambia Experience over the last year include its employee, Kathryn Burrington, being crowned Winner in the AlTO Achievement in Responsible Tourism Awards 2008. With friends, Kathryn founded 'Nyodema', a charity that raises money to help children in The Gambia.

The Gambia Experience's School Development Fund maintains momentum and this year will be donating 145,000 Dalasi to help four Gambian schools with essential building work.

Once a UK holidaymaker books a holiday package with The Gambia Experience, they will then receive a complimentary 156-page Gambia Experience, 'Gambia Guide'. This, like The Gambia Experience website www.gambia.co.uk, is an excellent information resource about The Gambia and also includes discount vouchers, valid at a variety of restaurants throughout the coastal resorts.