Tuesday, December 5

GT Board Welcomes Hundreds of Tourists, Anticipates Thousands More

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Tourists arriving at Banjul International Airport

By Landing Ceesay 

The Gambia Tourism Board (GT Board) welcomed 358 tourists from the UK and Holland on Friday. The inaugural flight from the UK carried 175 passengers, and the maiden flight from Holland brought 183 to the country’s beautiful destination.

The Gambia is a popular and affordable all-year-round travel destination, attracting tourists from all over the world in search of sun, sand, sea, nature, and diverse cultural experiences. The country has been a popular holiday destination since the mid-1960s and enjoys a sub-tropical climate with distinct dry and rainy seasons.

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In an interview with the media, Foday Bah, Head of Marketing at the GT Board, revealed some of the efforts that his institution and the Ministry of Tourism are making to ensure that tourists enjoy their stay in the country.

“We have huge expectations as per the efforts we have made in marketing and promotion there is a huge expectation. There is going to be frequency of flights from the UK and Holland. With Corendon we are going to receive three flights per week with a 30% capacity increment. With Gambia experience, we are going to receive three flights per week and other tourist flights that are coming from the UK. So expectations are high, and we believe that this year is going to be amazing.  

“This year, based on our projections, we are expecting to receive more than two hundred and six thousand tourists (206, 000) from air arrivals excluding the lands. Tourism is everybody’s business. So it is the responsibility of everyone to see that we renovate our places and ensure that the places are up to standard and to see that Tourists enjoy their stay in their hotels, apartments, and accommodations,” Mr. Bah said. 

The Gambia is a popular winter tourist destination for people from all over the world, with most visitors coming between October and February. Visitors come to The Gambia to enjoy the warm weather, the beautiful beaches, and the friendly people.

The first tourists to visit The Gambia arrived in the early 1960s on cruise ships. In 1965, a Swede named Bertil Harding organized a trip to The Gambia for 300 tourists, which marked a turning point in the country’s tourism industry. The number of visitors increased to 2,500 in 1970 and has continued to grow steadily since then, reaching over 100,000 per year today.

Tourism has had a positive impact on the Gambian economy. It has created jobs, generated foreign exchange, and helped to develop the country’s infrastructure. However, there are also some challenges associated with tourism. One challenge is that the industry is very seasonal, with most visitors arriving during the winter months. This can make it difficult for businesses to stay afloat during the off-season.

Challenges aside, Tourism has had a significant positive impact on The Gambia’s economy, particularly in the urban areas. Businesses such as hotels, restaurants, tour operators, and craft markets all benefit from the influx of tourists and a booming tourist season means more income for all involved in the industry.

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