By Omar Bah
The Gambia registered a significant boost in the arrival of tourists last year. According to passenger analysis at the airport, 61,400 tourists arrived in the country between October and December 2022, compared to 42,653 in the same period in 2021.
The significant improvement in the number of tourists has boosted tourism revenue and helps the country generate foreign-exchange reserves.
According to a report by Bloomberg, the Central Bank governor Buah Saidy said visitors to the county jumped by 56% to 182,795 in 2022 helping boost foreign-exchange reserves to US$464 million this year.
“During the fourth quarter onwards, the inflow of foreign currency was enhanced significantly,” Governor Saidy said in an interview at an Association of African Central Banks conference in Senegal recently.
He said there was a large recovery in tourism and remittances inflows were also sustained.
The World Bank is helping The Gambia with a US$68 million programme to boost tourism infrastructure over the next five years. Traditionally, the majority of tourist arrivals have been from the UK.
The Standard has contacted the Minister of Tourism to comment on the figures but he referred our reporter to the Gambia Tourism Board whose head initially agreed to talk to us but later opted not to respond to our telephone calls.