#Article (Archive)

The tourism sector

Jan 20, 2010, 12:30 PM

Over the years, The Gambia has witnessed a tremendous increase in the country's tourism industry, thanks to the hospitality of the Gambian people.

Although there have been marked improvements in other sectors, The Gambia over the years depended on groundnut exports as the main foreign exchange earner, being the main cash crop of the economy.

However, in recent times, tourism has come to play an important role as the second foreign exchange earner, and providing employment for many, including a good number of youths in the country.

Perhaps one of the areas that people tend to overlook is the number of young people who travel to Europe in search of greener pastures, some of them through assistance from European friends.

Many of those youths are today contributing immensely to the socio-economic development of the country through remittances sent to their families back home.

This undoubtedly goes a long way towards improving the living standards of many Gambians, who otherwise would have found it extremely difficult to escape from poverty.

The tourism sector, like other areas, does have its own bottlenecks; thus the need to put all hands on deck to address the problems.

The issues include child sex tourism, and the bumbster menace which, among others, must be tackled head on.

This is a country of decent people, whose hospitality must not be taken for granted. Gambians are known to have a big heart, and to open their homes to welcome all kinds of visitors.

However, despite the economic benefits of tourism, we must be careful not to expose our children to avoidable risks, or to endanger respect for our traditional norms and values etc.

Indecent behaviours in our streets, our homes and even in our beaches should not be condoned, no matter what.

"Small is beautiful. A study of economics as if people mattered."

Schumacher EF