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Thomas Cook NE Maiden flight lands with 365 tourists

Oct 28, 2019, 2:35 PM | Article By: Yunus S. Saliu

Amidst the collapse of Thomas Cook UK that is causing fear on the reduction in the number of tourist arrivals in the destination, the Thomas Cook Northern Europe (NE) maiden flight of the 2019 winter tourism season Thursday evening arrived The Gambia with 365 tourists.

The airbus 330 with capacity of about 380 which airlifted the tourists, flew direct from Gothenburg, Sweden to Banjul and was received by officials of Gambia Tourism Board (GTBoard) and Gambia Tours.

Answering questions from members of travel and tour writers, Adama Njie, Director of Marketing at GTBoard disclosed that Thomas Cook Northern Europe will be bringing two flights every weekly from Northern Europe while the other Thomas Cook NE will be also flying in from Denmark, starting from Monday 28th October 2019 as collapse of Thomas Cook UK did not affect Thomas Cook Scandinavia.

He affirmed that the country will feel the pinch of Thomas Cook UK bankruptcy but said at GTBoard, they are optimistic that as they keep going with the team currently in UK led by the Director General of the GTBoard, some positive results will be achieved.

“It is an opportunity for us to reposition ourselves as a country and put other things in place to mitigate things in the future to avoid this type of situation,” he said.

Mr Njie however noted that tourism is not about the number of tourists coming but the people coming to the country and spend in a way that will trickle down to the local people. “GTBoard is very congnizant of the fact that tourism can roll when you have people who are spending, which is one of the reasons we are targeting tourists from the sub region, including Nigeria.”

Commenting on the Thomas Cook NE winter tourism season maiden flight, Charbel Hobeika, Managing Director Gambia Tours reiterated that it is Thomas Cook UK that collapsed not the one of Northern Europe.

On the vacuum left behind by the Thomas Cook UK, he opined that it is not easy to find replacement when almost all bookings have been done. He assured that Gambia Tours is working tirelessly to fill the gap “though for this ongoing season, is too late but hopefully next season things will get better as we will get better replacement for the UK market.”