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Sunday, March 7, 2021

Three Years Jotna: Potential effects on tourism

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The planned protests in December by members of the Three Years Jotna movement have implications for the Gambian tourism industry which should be studied carefully.

There is now little or no doubt that a section of the Gambian society are pushing for President Adama Barrow to respect his promise of stepping down after three years.

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These people plan to hold protests to put pressure on the president to step down. Of course, there are others who are equally bent on ensuring that he complete the five-year term as stipulated in the constitution.

It is also known that the Government of the Gambia is preparing to take all measures to ensure that the Three Years Jotna group does not have its way in the country and that it will do whatever it takes to maintain control.

By all standards; therefore, the country seems to be heading for a confrontation next month. No matter the level of this confrontation, it is likely to cause harm to the economy.

Studies have shown that twenty percent of the Gambia’s foreign currency comes from tourism. Thus, tourism contributes hugely to the Gambian economy.

Tourists certainly do some findings before going to any destination. Thus, with the media (both the traditional and new), social media and other Internet platforms replete with issues of Three Years Jotna and the protests being planned, tourists are likely to change destination and go to other countries instead.

December being the peak of the country’s tourism industry season, if this were to affect the number of arrivals, it will have a negative impact on the economy. If there is a drop on tourism in the country, it will have domino effect on the economy and ultimately the way of life.

Dialogue is the key to solving this problem.

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