Nyang, a retired director of the department of tourism pleaded with President Jammeh to ‘spare people who are in key positions within the sector’.
“We have the right policies in the right places, but the only problem we have is leadership and continuity,” he added. “We have to appeal to the president for him to spare the people who are in the positions so that at least they stay in the positions in order to continue the good work.
“The sector needs people who will stay longer time to understand the policies and know what they are doing so that they can move forward. Otherwise, if the tour operators come and talk to Mr X today and the next day they come and find Mr Y, and then say I told Mr X this particular information when Mr Y is in no position to know. So, consistency is relevant.”
Nyang made this remark yesterday at the Gambia Tourism and Hospitality Institute (GTHI) where key stakeholders in the sector concluded a two-day capacity building programme conducted on tourism marketing by Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) Tourism Capacity Building Programme.
He called for The Gambia to have its own flight carrier, urging the country to devise ways of marketing Destination Gambia.
He added: “We also need air access. The government also needs to invest in co-sharing. We have Gambians who invest in hotels, let them also invest in bringing tourists so that we can go all-year round.
“We also need to engage the Scandinavian market; work on the student market and sports tourism; break the tour operation dominance; ‘Gambianise’ the intakes in the sector; and work on having our own national career because relying on these chartered flights to bring tourists to a destination is not sustainable.
Nyang continued: “We also need to work on the labour market in the industry because we have a lot of problem in the labour market. People hire and fire their seasonal workers and there is nothing that backs them. Also, the ministry should not be the head of Gambia Hotel and Tourism Institute. They have had it over the year and they have failed. So, I think they should hand it over to the university.
“The Gambia has developed over the years and we have built capacities of industry players making us a vital tourism destination. So, I think it is high time we developed tourism corps. Doing this will help us to export our expertise to other countries within the sub-region and I am sure it will sell.”]]>