Gambian small business owners are censuring the move by Gambian travel agencies and hotels to offer inclusive packages to holidaymakers in the country.
Local businesses in the tourism development area say they are seeing diminishing returns, urging authorities to step in and pass regulations that can help their businesses flourish.
Booking agencies and hotels have been selling inclusive packages to tourists, which includes their hotels and feeding. It has left many restaurants relying on tourists empty.
The all-inclusive package has been gaining strength in many parts of the world and Gambia’s Minister of Tourism, Hamat Bah says it is here to stay. It means restaurants and other small businesses have to find new ways to get businesses or close.
Some businesses relying on tourist even in the North Bank of The Gambia say they are affected by the all-inclusive package and unable to compete. They call for the government to protect their business.
Tourism accounts for more than 21 percent of the Gambia’s earnings. At least 120,000 Europeans visit the country. This year alone, at least 200,000 is expected. It employs more than 20,000 people during the short winter season, most of them indirectly.