Nov 14, 2016, 11:30 AM
The Smiling Coast Tour is on a roll, opening up new frontiers for tourism in The Gambia. Tourism in The Gambia is traditionally associated with the sun and the sand - the beaches that have been fascinating tourists over the years. But the Smiling Coast Tour has infused the industry with a fresh product - education.
In arranging for tourists from the United States of America to visit The Gambia, the point man of the Smiling Coast Tour Pa Lamin Sarr has gone the extra mile to make sure that the visitors also give something of themselves to the community. As a result, some of the tourists who are lecturers will be giving talks on pertinent issues at the University of The Gambia. And one of them, a journalism expert, will also be having communion with fellow journalists in the country.
In addition, the tourists will take part in several sporting activities such as football, basketball and martial arts demonstration. This aspect of the package is fittingly dubbed as the Smiling Coast Sports Festival. Reportedly, many new talents are already being spotted with a view to grooming them to outstanding athletes who can hold their own on the global stage.
Progress thrives on innovation; these innovative additions to tourism in The Gambia raise the stakes in the industry and lead to healthy competition which in turn brings about efficiency and quality service delivery for tourists. It is expected that tour operators who have been laid-back would be jolted out of their complacency by the incursion of the Smiling Coast Tour into the market in a grand style.
We are particularly interested in the educational aspect of the package because of our belief that without education one is defenceless and much more vulnerable to the uncertainties of life. As most of the American tourists are expected in the summer, efforts should be made to get them to take part in the summer school programmes. Emphasis should be placed on skills acquisition and meaningful social activities that are geared towards making our students to be well-rounded individuals.
For the initiator of this great project, we say many thanks because he has not only brought glory to The Gambia, but he has also shown that he has what it takes to get on and ahead in life. His organisation will provide employment for a number of Gambians besides the huge foreign exchange will bring into the Gambian economy. Many young Gambians can look to him for inspiration! More important, he should be given all the encouragement he needs to contribute even.
"I've noticed your hostility towards him ... I ought to have guessed you were friends".