Monday, September 25

Tourism: People want to travel, tired of lockdown for over a year

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By Yunus S Saliu

One of the erudite tour operators in The Gambia has expressed confidence in the upcoming 2021/2022 winter tourism season in Destination Gambia.

Liane Burger-Sallah, CEO of African Adventure Tours in an interview with this medium expressed that tourism in the coming winter season due in October will be okay and promising, as “people want to travel because people are tired of been locked up for over a year.”

She disclosed that one of the regular chartered flights to The Gambia, Corendon Airlines, is very positive to resume flying to the Smiling Coast of Africa “in October with one flight a week and from November they will increase the frequency, as they are planning on four flights per week.”

She affirmed that like in destination Gambia, international tour operators are struggling, too, but they are very positive and willing to start visiting the destination.

The Dutch, she stressed, are tired of staying home, people want to visit different places to see the effect of the Covid-19 “they want to go feel the sun, walk on the beach to meet people and interact. So they are positive about travelling in the coming (winter) season and I’m positive, too.”

Ms Burger-Sallah who is also the Chairperson of the Travel and Tourism Association of The Gambia (TTAG) and her tour firm is the grand handler of the Corendon Airlines in The Gambia explained that in the past, Corendon Airline Holland, when it comes to chartered flights, was doing average three flights but now ready to add one more.

However, in this era of Coronavirus pandemic which has no boundary, some stakeholders in the sector has revealed some missing links between stakeholders, Gambia Tourism Board and the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, this missing links include inadequate communications among the sector especially on the way forward.

According to them, “we were hoping for more communications because sitting together or coming together via zoom meetings to put some minds together can bring hope, fast to conclusion or even bring a solution to fix up things. But unfortunately, that has not been happening, we feel a bit sad,” repeated comments from some stakeholders.

“That’s true, we are all professionals in what we are doing, we are working in the field and we see what’s happening in our country and it will be nice if we also know what is happening in the other sides in term of plans, observations, evaluations either monthly or bimonthly meeting,” Ms Burger-Sallah alluded to statement of other speakers, too.

This (meetings) she said, can at least use to update each other, ‘as this can help us to be on top of things,” she added.