Dec 19, 2016, 10:25 AM
Officials of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, GTBoard and the Tourism Marketing Committee (TMC) recently returned from the US and the UK, where they attended fruitful road shows from 26 September to 8 October this year.
The delegation was headed by the Honorable Minister of Tourism and Culture Mrs Fatou Mass Jobe-Njie accompanied by the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Momodou Joof; Chairman of the TMC, Bunama Njie; Director of Marketing at the GTBoard, Adama Njie; CEO of Alkamba Tours, Saikouba Sisey, and Director of Tourism International, GTBoard UK office, Ida Jeng Njie.
Speaking in an interview with The Point recently at his office, Adama Njie, director of Marketing GTBoard, said the trip was in collaboration with African Travel Association (ATA) and GTBoard London office.
Mr Njie said the purpose of the road shows was to increase awareness of Destination Gambia in the USA and the UK markets with a particular focus on the 2014 Roots Homecoming Festival and the investment opportunities in The Gambia.
In the USA the road shows were held in three cities, namely New York City, Philadelphia and Atlanta, which were a resounding success in promoting Destination Gambia, with particular emphasis on the 2014 Roots Homecoming Festival and the investment opportunities in The Gambia.
In New York City, the Gambian delegation held a presentation on the Roots Homecoming Festival 2014 in the presence of more than 40 travel trade members and the media, which included journalists and press representatives from Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas at the presentation room of the New York University (NYU).
The delegation also attended ATA’s 8th Annual Presidential Forum and the Young Professional Forum with a 20-minute presentation on The Gambia and the 2014 Roots Homecoming Festival in the presence of more than 200 participants all over the world, graced also by the presence of the Ugandan President, His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, and the Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism of Tanzania, Khamis S. Kagasheki, among others.
This was followed by a press conference organised by ATA and African Caribbean Radio and Television Services (ACRTV).
In New York City, director Njie explained, the delegation met with the Delta Airlines Director of Sales in New York on partnership with The Gambia on the Roots Homecoming Festival.
The Honourable Minister and the Permanent Secretary had a 15 minutes telephone interview with WRFG 89.3F Atlanta with MFON and SHERIFFA and WLIB 11.90 Radio station in New York on the Roots Homecoming Festival in 2014.
The delegation held a strategic meeting with the roots promoters in New York before departing to Philadelphia.
In Philadelphia, the director of Marketing GTBoard went on, the delegation held a presentation on the Roots Homecoming Festival at the CLEF CLUB OF JAZZ in the presence of more than 50 travel trade members, journalists and roots promoters in Philadelphia before proceeding to Atlanta.
In Atlanta the delegation held a presentation on the 2014 Roots Homecoming Festival at the Twelve Centennial Park, Peach Tree, in the presence of more than 50 travel trade members, journalists and roots promoters in Atlanta.
The University of Georgia and Delta Airlines in Atlanta were visited for collaboration with The Gambia on the Roots Homecoming Festival in 2014, exchange programme with the University of The Gambia and the possibility of flying to The Gambia.
Minister Fatou Mass Jobe-Njie was given a 2013 African Diaspora World Tourism Award, an inaugural Hall of Fame Certificate and a Minister of Distinction plaque by Kitty Pope (Promoter of the Roots Festival and creator of African Diaspora World Tourism Award and Travel Expo) for her outstanding contribution towards the development of tourism in The Gambia, before the team proceeded to London.
In London, director Njie added, the delegation held a presentation on the 2014 Roots Homecoming Festival at the Hilton Hotel in the presence of more than 30 travel trade members, journalists and roots promoters in London.
Both the Honourable Minister and the Permanent Secretary had telephone interviews with the WLIB Radio in the US and Galaxy Radio in the UK respectively on the 2014 Roots Homecoming Festival and the investment opportunities in The Gambia.