Oct 10, 2008, 5:01 AM
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 '
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
Throughout the winter season, weekly
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
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.
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.