We welcome Smiling Coast Tours' into The Gambia.
Smiling Coast Tours, an international tour operator with partners in The Gambia is planning to bring American tourists to The Gambia and also US students who may wish to earn credit for their adventure in The Gambia.
According to Pa Lamin Sarr, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Smiling Coast Tours the objective of his company is to bring the American market closer to The Gambia by bring in American tourists and give them a real experience of the country by interacting directly with the local people so as to learn our rich cultural heritage and way of life.
All necessary support should be provide for Smiling Coast Tours to accelerate the growth of The Gambia's tourism industry beyond what is available.
This, we believe, can only be achieved through conscious revitalisation campaign and an aggressive promotional drive in the sector. Already, tourism is the fast growing sector in The Gambia, generating over D500 million in revenues annually, accounting for 16 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and providing more foreign exchange than any other sector as well as generating thousands of jobs. Herein lies the necessity to look to tourism for growth. Smiling Coast Tours should be encouraged to start operation the soonest.
The Gambia Tourism Authority, the agency charged with the responsibility of encouraging and facilitating tourism should seek to place a premium on diversified and innovative tourism in order to attract high value and high spending tourists without impairing Gambians' own socio-cultural values.
All encouragement and specially discounted rate should be in place for tour operators as we are of the opinion that these would be crucial for The Gambia's drive to expand its tourism industry since, in the past, the country has mainly been a destination for visitors from the western hemisphere. Now if can have tourists coming from America will no doubt accelerate the growth rate of the country's industry beyond the current state.
Mr. Sarr revealed that the other aspect of volunteering is a product augment strategy he intends to use to play his role in the socio-economic development of the country.