Jun 15, 2012, 1:54 PM
Fatou Mass Jobe-Njie, Minister of Tourism and Culture, has called on the new intakes to The Gambia Tourism and Hospitality Institute to work hard as the first batch of the institute.
The Tourism Minister was speaking on Tuesday at The Gambia Tourism and Hospitality Institute in Kanifing and told students they have the big opportunity to become professional tourism stakeholders within the industry.
Hon. Fatou Mass Jobe-Njie said the new intake should see themselves as part of the first batch of the institute, which is history for The Gambia Tourism industry and the country as a whole.
“You are the first batch to start the curriculum of The Gambia Hotel School which has now changed to The Gambia Tourism and Hospitality Institute,” she said.
According to her, in 2012 the sector worldwide achieved its one billion tourists crossing the shore all over the globe, adding that The Gambia in 2012 grew by over 60 per cent in terms of tourists’ arrival.
She said the new intakes have chosen a career that will help them in life, noting that this will depend on how best they put or use their education.
Madam Jobe-Njie therefore advised them to take their time and their work seriously so they will reap the benefit in the near future.
Tourism is one of the sectors that contribute largely to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as well as creating employment for many Gambians.
She added that tourism sector caters for over 20 per cent of the total employment of the country.
Minister Mass Jobe-Njie therefore thanked the students as the first batch of the institute while urging them to participate in different areas of their studies.
Jose Cardenes, director general of Gambia Tourism and Hospitality Institute, thanked all those who attended the occasion as well as the Government of The Gambia through the Ministry of Tourism and Culture for the support and collaboration.
He recalled that the then Gambia Hotel School was established with support from the German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) and the World Bank, between 1979 and 1981.
It opened in 1981 to offer training for new entrants to the industry in four disciplines, which includes restaurant service, housekeeping and laundry.
DG Jose said that in 2009, the hotel school started a new stage in its development through a great investment in building, equipment and technical assistance at the highest level of the world industry.
Mr Bunama Njie, general manager of the Senegambia Beach Hotel, also spoke at the ceremony.