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‘UNWTO will support Gambia’s efforts in tourism’

Feb 24, 2012, 1:46 PM | Article By: Njie Baldeh

Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, has said the UNWTO will support The Gambia’s efforts at developing the potentials of its tourism sector to the fullest given the significant contribution of the tourism sector to the Gambian economy. 

While speaking last Saturday at the official opening of the Fajara Craft Market, Mr Rifai said: “This project is indeed a significant achievement that will no doubt add value to Gambian tourism.

“As we are all aware, tourists decide to embark on a trip for various purposes: some seek leisure away from their work routines, others wish to see and experience the diversity of countries around the world, while there are those who are interested in the history and culture of the destinations they visit.”

He added that all these different travellers will invariably want to take home a souvenir of their visit, in memory of their journey.

It is therefore most adequate to develop craft markets in tourism establishment or areas, to offer tourists a variety of craft products that will meet their individual tastes.

Craft market therefore immensely adds value to tourism experience as it creates lots of opportunities to the local inhabitants, contribute to wealth generation thus contribute to poverty reduction.

According to the UNWTO in 2011, international tourist arrivals grew by 4 per cent in spite of the economic challenges, reaching an all-time record of 980 million.

Mr. Rifai again: “Africa in particular has been one of the regions showing the best results in recent years, a much welcome news as tourism gains more and more relevance in the region as a key strategic sector in the creation of job opportunities and development options.”