‘Nigeria remains Destination Gambia key market’

Dec 22, 2020, 10:51 AM | Article By: Yunus S. Saliu

In their quest to end the setback that has befallen the tourism sector amid recent threats posed by the second wave of coronavirus pandemic and other unforeseen situations, the management of the Gambia Tourism Board has affirmed that Nigeria remains one of their key markets as far as regional tourism is concerned.

Like other destinations around the world, destination Gambia was not spared during the global pandemic, though with lesser cases of less than 5000 since it was first reported in the country in March.

In Africa today, most countries that quickly recovered from the strike of the coronavirus were able to do so through domestic and regional tourism.

To take a cue from our neighbors in order to lessen the effects of Covid-19, Abubacarr S Camara, Director General of GTBoard stressed the need to tap into regional markets especially markets like Nigeria, as the latter has proven to be a key market for The Gambia.

“Over the years, The Gambia has been dependent on international tourism and most of the times when there is an impasse like this coronavirus pandemic, we suffer the most. So, it is now time for the country to promote more domestic and regional tourism.”

He explained further; “And one of the countries we are having potentials in terms of regional tourism is Nigeria apart from Senegal, Ghana and Sierra Leone. We had sent a team which among were Mamadi Dampha, Deputy Permanent Secretary – MoTC, Adama Njie, Director of Marketing - GTBoard to visit Nigeria to pave way for the upcoming visit of the Gambia Minister of Tourism and Culture, Hon. Hamat NK Bah to the country,” DG Abubacarr added.

Commenting further on the trip, Adama Njie, Director of Marketing – GTBoard, described the trip to Nigeria a successful one that will start to bear fruits in very short time.

“While in Nigeria, we were able to meet many travel agents, tour operators, airlines among others in Nigeria. And we at the GTBoard are glad that the Gambia Honorable Minister of Tourism and Culture has taken bold decision on Nigeria to be a better market for destination Gambia in terms of reviving our regional market.”

He made it clear that choosing the Nigerian market is not a mistake for the fact that “Nigeria if not the biggest but one of the biggest in Africa in terms of population and of course they have a strong buying power. And it is clear worldwide that Nigerian tourists have very spending power.”

“Among the success stories of the trip is that Air Peace, which has stopped flying to Destination Gambia during the period of Covid-19 has confirmed its readiness to come back to The Gambia with minimum frequency of three flights direct from Nigeria to Banjul weekly. Asky Airline is already back to the route while other airlines as well promise to join.”