#Article (Archive)

Welcome to the Smiling Coast!

Oct 25, 2019, 12:23 PM

Tuesday  22nd October 2019 Issue

The Gambia is without a doubt one of the safest and friendliest places for visitors to explore. Upon arrival, it’s easy to understand why the country has garnered such an admirable reputation.

From its clean beaches, trekking errands, sightseeing and safari excursion, the Smiling Coast has plenty to offer.

Tourism is considered to be one of the major earners, thanks to the country’s strategic location and proximity to the rest of Europe.

Corendon Airlines, the maiden flight from Holland landed in the country with 141 Dutch tourists last week.Officials of The Gambia Tourism Board received the visiting guests at the airport. However, the move is part of a broader move to promote Destination Gambia as a year-round holiday paradise. We hope the trend continues.

Annually, approximately 1.2 billion people travel abroad, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization. Many countries have turned tourism into a pillar of economic growth.

However, tourism is more than just getting people to visit. Tourism is an obvious gateway.Tourism organizations need to think creatively about the big picture of economic growth. Despite the lucrative nature of tourism, there is need for people to be aware of sex tourism, which is increasing in some destinations. Government should also take steps to sensitize locals and tourists to do away with vices that tarnish the image of the country and might put them within the reach of the long arm of the law.

Also, in order to boost the number of tourists, it is essential to carry out aggressive promo and marketing. The hospitality business is one of the fastest growing sources of income for The Gambia. It has its economic multiplier effects in addition to employing more youths in the sector. These also accord tourism entrepreneurs the chance to explore new areas of innovation.

It is an indisputable fact that the involvement of the private sector also in this industry is crucial for tourism to thrive. We need to build the necessary infrastructure that could accommodate more tourists who are expected to visit.

Many of these visiting tourists enjoyed every bit of their stay from the sun, meeting locals, out-and-about in the local neighborhoods and even safari excursions.

With increasing changing demands in the hospitality industry to meet customer satisfaction, The Gambia’s tourism development aspirations continue to be on track with the ultimate focus on increasing tourists’ arrivals.

Plans are in the offing to make the destination an all year round season.  This will also create more opportunities for stakeholders involved in the hospitality industry.

“The reception and the welcome home was quite overwhelming but an indication of how much the Welsh people valued my winning in the Olympics - it was a great memory.”

Lynn Davies