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Tourism Ministry, CNN hold workshop

Feb 17, 2012, 2:41 PM | Article By: Njie Baldeh

The Ministry of Tourism and Culture, in collaboration with CNN International, on Tuesday organised a one-day workshop at the Kairaba Beach Hotel in Senegambia. 

The workshop was held to create an external connection for growth of tourism in The Gambia as well as to showcase the potentials of the country and the products she could offer to the outside world.

Three media personnel from CNN International were in The Gambia to attend the workshop and deliver presentations. They included Reme Al Saiegh, CNN International’s Vice President, Anita Mendirata, and Celine Labourel.

In her remarks on the occasion, Fatou Mass Jobe-Njie, Minister of Tourism and Culture, thanked the CNN team for attending the workshop.

According to her, the idea for holding the workshop was conceived a few months ago when she and Anita met at the fringes of the UNWTO General Assembly in South Korea, to discuss CNN relations with her Ministry and how this could be further strengthened.

Hon. Jobe said Anita and Celine suggested a workshop to widen CNN’S reach beyond the Ministry of Tourism to a wider group of stakeholders and operators in the Gambian tourism sector and related businesses on how to promote ‘Destination Gambia’ by taking advantage of CNN global appeal and reach.

“As we strive to move The Gambia Tourism agenda forward, it is important to collaborate with the international media such as CNN and its allies, given that it is among the top international TV channels and websites in Africa, reaching more people than any other international media property,” Minister Jobe-Njie said.

She added: “As you would see on the back of your invitation card, the presentation shall cover among other issues, CNN overview, CNN communication opportunities- Eye on The Gambia, destination branding, role of the media, ten things Destination needs to know for success in 2012.”

The Tourism minister said tourism has arguably emerged as the fastest growing sector in the Gambian economy and it provides much needed impetus for economic growth and employment thereby helping to realize the objectives of PAGE.

Reme Al Saiefh, CNN International Vice President, in her presentation, said each and every one including the stakeholders, has a role to play in tourism development.

“Our purpose of coming here is to build the partnership with the Tourism Ministry as well as to find something that is unique to The Gambia,” she said.

The CNN official said the media is playing a very important role in tourism through creating news. “We have worked with ministries of tourism around the world,” she added.

Other speakers on the occasion included Anita Mendirata and Celine Labourel, who both expressed similar sentiments during their presentations.

The workshop has brought together a cross-section of participants from government, the private sector, and even as far afield as Nigeria was represented by officials of Insight Communication Company Ltd, to share ideas with CNN about destination management.