Gambia’s president-elect Adama Barrow has not assumed office yet but stakeholders in the country’s tourism industry have already outlined a to-do list for the former property developer who is expected to take the oath of office on January 19.
Bunama Njie, the general manager of Senegambia Hotel and acting chair of the Gambia Hotel Association, challenged the president-elect to ensure that he created an environment conducive for the growth of the sector.
Tourism is a foreign exchange earner for The Gambia and contributes a significant 16-20% of the GDP, creating tens of thousands of jobs for Gambians, economic advantages that could increase if the right policies, programs, and projects are put in place.
Gambia’s tourism sector has suffered a shock during the regional Ebola crisis. Gambia did not record a case of Ebola but the shock left an impact on the economy that required IMF intervention.
Gambia gets most of its tourists from Scandinavia and the UK. The country has been trying to get tourist from the United States recently.
Hoteliers want the industry to become the country’s competitive advantage and President-elect Barrow assured the tourism stakeholders of his administration’s support while reiterating the priority they have placed on the sector.
Barrow ran his campaign on creating job for the country’s migrating youths “and tourism is one sector that could help us do that,” he said.