By Awa Macalo
Long-term Gambian diasporan, Abdoulie Jallow, Bakau Wasulung Kunda, has said contrary to official position, the 20-dollar airport security fee is not good for the country’s travel and tourism industry. He added that “tourists are not coming as before because of this fee.
Mr Jallow, who has been living in Sweden since 1972, said it is easy to feel the damage the airport fee is causing to tourism. “One just needs to visit the tourist markets. These markets are not as busy as before because the tourists don’t buy souvenirs as they save that money to pay airport fees when they are leaving,” Jallow noted.
He argued that the most heart-breaking and annoying thing about it is that even Gambians coming home or leaving have to pay.
“If you have a family of ten, this easily translates to D10.000. This is only happening in The Gambia. Last year, I came here with some Kenyans and they were surprised.
They said no one is exempted from this payment but they never produce any record of it. During Jammeh’s regime, something like this was happening, and I personally called the Gambian consulate in Stockholm and it was stopped,” Jallow said.
He questioned President Barrow’s sincerity in calling Gambians to come home to invest. “How can this be achieved when you want us to pay D1000 while entering our own country?” Mr Jallow asked.