Jan 31, 2011, 12:42 PM
The secretary general of the United Nations World Tourism Organization recently had a briefing session with journalists at State House after meeting with Vice President Dr Aja Isatou Njie-Saidy.
Teleb Rifai told waiting journalists that he was in the country to raise awareness on how tourism can help The Gambia in terms of development, and employment and revenue creation.
He informed journalists that his mission was also part of WTO’s campaign to raise the quality of tourism in The Gambia and to raise awareness of tourism and future tourism in the country.
Rifai said tourism needs to be promoted, noting that The Gambia has an all-year-round wonderful weather, with friendly people and safe environment and is easily accessible from Europe.
“I presented an open letter to the Head of State and Government and it was the Vice President Isatou Njie-Saidy who received the letter,” he said.
“I discussed with the vice president the importance of tourism to The Gambia, the need to promote the country’s tourism sector through the media, as well as campaigns that are necessary to open the eyes of the country’s people.I also discussed with the vice president issues relating to the approach of tourism marketing in the country.”
Social and political impact is very important for tourism, Mr Rifai said, adding that all ministries should be tourism sensitive; thus The Gambia is increasingly becoming easily connected to tourism.
He applauded the Minister of Tourism, Fatou Mass Jobe-Njie and her ministry for “their proactive efforts for the past years in transforming The Gambia’s tourism sector”.
“Our meeting with the vice president was extremely productive and most importantly, it was a meeting where I have found all the answers we came to seek in The Gambia, and once more I thank the Tourism minister for hosting us and for preparing this wonderful programme that has opened our eyes to the potentials of tourism in The Gambia,” he said.
Mr. Rifai was led to the State House by the Minister of Tourism and Culture, Fatou Mass Jobe-Njie.