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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

GT Board partners TikTokers, celebrities to promote local tourism

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By Tabora Bojang

The tourism sector is one of the key drivers of the Gambian economy, contributing significantly to the GDP.

But domestic tourism is not popular compared to international tourism, mainly because many people may be unaware of the importance of tourism, their roles in promoting and preserving it or may have little information about it.

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Since the Covid-19 pandemic came and ruined the tourism industry, destinations continue to explore ways and means to fully revive the sector by attracting and promoting not only international tourism but also see that locals participate in tourism.

To achieve this objective, Gambia Tourism Board partners with prominent Gambian TikTokers, celebrities, and content creators to help in the promotion of domestic tourism by enlightening and educating locals on the importance of tourism as well as enhancing the culture of tourism and hospitality among natives.

The initiative involved TikTokers; Tida Jobe, Fatou Jobarteh alias Sarjo Manneh la Muso, 360+, the Bunka’s, Miss Gambia 2023, Glorious Haddijatou Njie and Ms Brenda Conte, a content creator. 

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The group embarked on a two-day local familiarization tour to local attractions and destinations within Banjul, KM and West Coast to have firsthand knowledge of products and services and use their respective platforms to popularize domestic tourism.  

The Board believes an improved domestic tourism market will not only have a positive impact on Gambia’s economic development but also enhance job security for citizens working in the tourism sector. 

“Our key mandate is to promote and market destination Gambia. We cannot do it all alone. We need the support of every Gambian. And we believe these social media influencers can do a lot. They have lots of local and international followers and this collaboration is going to increase awareness about the products and services the destination offers,” GT Board’s acting marketing manager Foday Bah said.

Bah pointed out that the Gambian tourism policy undoubtedly emphasized the need for the promotion of domestic tourism and it is in this limelight that GT Board creates a new marketing strategy by partnering social media influencers to promote the drive.

According to him the pandemic has brought lessons for destinations to further augment their domestic tourism programs since most destinations that were floating during the pandemic were those that amplified domestic tourism.

“We all know the importance of tourism as the second largest contributor to our GDP. That’s why the Board invites all stakeholders to come on board and join this campaign. Tourism is everybody’s business. Destination Gambia is for Gambians. Let’s come out and promote it.

Glorious Haddijatou Njie, winner of Miss Gambia 2023, described the initiative as laudable and added that it will go a long way in raising awareness among Gambians on the importance of tourism and their roles in promoting and conserving it.

“This is a great opportunity. I urge all Gambians to embrace it and take time to explore these beautiful places. They are here for us.

According to Miss Gambia this familiarization will give her the opportunity to tell the story of destination Gambia from personal experience.

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