Gambia’s President Adama Barrow is urging thousands of tourists that were evacuated from The Gambia to return to the tiny holiday paradise that found itself in a political turmoil.
British Ambassador to The Gambia Colin Crorkin said the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has changed its travel advice and called on British holidaymakers to return to the West African nation.
“Gambia is very safe now, the environment is very conducive for tourists to come back and enjoy themselves. Come and enjoy the new Gambia” said Mr. Barrow.
The Gambia Experience announced on Friday that a flight full of British tourists left Gatwick Airport for Banjul.
Hoteliers reported a decline in tourist arrivals after former President Yahya Jammeh refused to cede power upon losing elections.
The country, called ‘The Smiling Coast of Africa’ is popular for its golden beaches and cheap holiday packages.
Tourism is the country’s biggest foreign exchange earner and contributes at least 16% to its GDP. It was hard hit by the regional Ebola crisis although The Gambia registered no cases.
The effects were devastating on the economy with the IMF coming to the country’s rescue. Gambia’s economy remains clouded and the return of tourists will help in reviving the economy.
The Gambia is also usually the first African destination for many European birders, in view of its easily accessed and spectacular avian fauna. There are also a significant number of African Americans tracing their roots in this country, from which so many Africans were taken during the slave trade.