Monday, October 3

Nordic Leisure annulled of operation to Gambia for the upcoming winter season

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By Yunus S Saliu

The Nordic Leisure Travel Group, Stockholm has, on Tuesday, 16th August 2022 canceled its charter operation to the destination Gambia for the upcoming winter tourism season 2022, citing the ‘current situation,’ as the cause of the cancellation.

According to the Nordic Leisure Travel Group, “we all had high expectations for this winter season” but “unfortunately, the recovery for traveling after the covid-19 pandemic has not developed as we first expected, one of the main reasons is the effects after the situation in Ukraine since 24th February,” 2022.

They also disclosed that they have seen a big impact on the global economy with mainly higher costs resulting in a difficult situation for traveling from Scandinavia.

Meanwhile, “the above-mentioned uncertainties combined with higher costs and increase of passenger tax in Banjul Airport have resulted in low demand and bookings for the destination and are the main reasons for this decision.”

Despite the cancellation, the Gambia Tourism Board with its aggressive marketing strategy in place is optimistic about the winter tourism 2022 due in October.

Sampling the reaction of Aboubacarr Camara, Managing Director of the Gambia Tourism Board (GTBoard) about the cancellation, he said the Nordic Leisure Travel Group’s cancellation of operation to the destination is due to the difficulties the travel group is having which are “about their recovery on Covid-19. And as well as the implication of the Russia/Ukraine war, these are the reasons they mentioned.”

About the 40 euros or the 20 dollars (higher costs and increase of passenger tax in Banjul Airport) at the airport, “it is insignificant as far as the reasons for their cancellation are concerned because most of their problems have to do with their operational issues in terms of acquiring aircraft and so on,” DG Camara shed light on the cancellation.

He, however, expressed optimism about due upcoming winter season saying during their outreach mission, some of the tour operators just like the GTBoard are confident that the outlook is good and “is like of 2019 if not better off but not less.”

Mr. Camara quickly assured the stakeholders that everything will be fine “though might not be one hundred percent but everyone will see a lot of improvement.”

Meanwhile, the Nordic Leisure Travel Group concluded that they will soon get back to destination Gambia regarding the winter tourism season 2023 as they are looking into re-start the program at a later stage.