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Sunday, November 29, 2020

Gov’t takes measures to mitigate Thomas Cook collapse

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In the wake of world aviation giant, Thomas Cook’s declaration of bankruptcy, the ministry of tourism and culture has assured Gambians and its global friends that significant steps have been taken to mitigate the potentially devastating effects on the country’s tourism.

“With the looming collapse of Thomas Cook, the Minister of Tourism, Hamat Bah immediately summoned a meeting of stakeholders to seek remedial actions to respond to this emergency,” a release from the tourism ministry reads.

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According to the release, the government was “shocked and saddened” by the devastating news of Thomas Cook’s collapse following an unsuccessful attempt to secure a bailout.

“No sooner had news of Thomas Cook’s definitive liquidation broke, than the Tourism ministry convened an emergency meeting with all stakeholders including the International Monetary Fund, the European Union, the World Bank and the Ministry of Finance to devise a strategic response.

The meeting came up with an Emergency Response Team which has already recommended a strategy to immediately mitigate the shock on the job market and the impact on the overall economic situation of The Gambia,” the release stated.

The release said the government, working with its partners, has since developed modalities to increase the frequency of flights to Destination-Gambia by other carriers as a direct measure to minimise the impact of Thomas Cook’s collapse on the Gambian tourism market.

Thomas Cook, the oldest and one of the most popular names in leisure travel with a track record of over 150 years, flew in British tourists to The Gambia for over two decades.

The airline accounts for at least 4 5 percent of tourists visiting The Gambia.

“While the government of President Barrow recognises the worrying effects of Thomas Cook’s collapse, it however wishes to assure Gambians and the generality of holiday makers to the country that the situation is under total control and there is no need for alarm,” the release added.

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