In an effort to increase tourist arrivals in The Gambia, the Ministry of Tourism and Culture has taken a giant step in promoting destination Gambia.
Officials from the Ministry led by the Minister and the Gambia Tourism Board were in London where they held a media briefing to show case the Gambia as much more than just sunshine, sand and sea.
The exposure took place at the Floating Good Hotel in London where the Minister of Tourism and Culture Hamat Bah said the media briefing is aimed at extending the tourism campaign beyond the usual trade fairs to the doorsteps of tourists through the media.
Although there has been a significant increase of arrivals this year, Mr Bah lamented the decline in the UK market.
Rebranding the Gambia by developing its cultural heritage, and increasing and developing the fine and performing art industry, Mr Bah said it would make the Gambia more appealing as a tourist destination. He said new marketing strategies such as joint marketing would be introduced and also focus on Gambian diaspora to become partners in tourism development and promotion.
Kodu Jabang in her introductory statement said destination Gambia is faced with competition from other destinations with superior quality, better infrastructure and lower prices.
She said her ministry is committed to ensure tourism is transformed to a highly competitive and sustainable industry.
The national development plan, she added, would address key issues such as limited air access, reliance on tour operators and the inadequate transport infrastructure.
Other speakers included Bakary Jammeh, Chairman of the Gambia Tourism Board, Abdoulie Hydara, DG of GTB and Ida Njie of the GTB London office. Expected results are a 100% increase in GDP, number tourists, employment rate and foreign exchange earnings, and the establishment of a multi cultural Centre.