Following to impact of pandemic on its tourism sector, the management of the Gambia Tourism Board has disclosed that Nigeria still remains key market to destination Gambia as regional tourism is concerned.
According to voicegambia.com , the board in its quest to end setback befalling tourism in the country as caused by coronavirus pandemic and other unforeseen situations, says Nigeria market is been reconsidered as one of the country to re-launch regional market in destination taken into consideration the damaged coronavirus has caused to tourism in the continent.
In Africa today, most countries that quickly recover from the struck of the coronavirus were able to do so through domestic and regional tourism.
Therefore, to recover from impasse and the woe of the Covid-19, Abubacarr S Camara, Director General of GTBoard noted the need to tap into other markets especially regional markets whereby Nigeria becomes the most targets and a key market for The Gambia.
According to him, over the years, “The Gambia has being so many dependents on international tourism and most of the times when there is an impasse like this coronavirus pandemic we (The Gambia) suffer the most. So, it is now timely for the country to promote more domestic and regional tourism.”
“And one of the countries we are having potentials in term of regional tourism is Nigeria apart from Senegal, Ghana and Sierra Leone and this been the reason we had sent a team which among were Mamadi Dampha, Deputy Permanent Secretary – MoTC, Adama Njie, Director of Marketing – GTBoard to visit Nigeria to pave way for the upcoming visit of the Gambia Minister of Tourism and Culture, Honorable Hamat NK Bah to the country in due course,” DG Abubacarr added.
Commenting further on the trip, Adama Njie, Director of Marketing – GTBoard, described the trip to Nigeria a successful one that will start germinate fruits in very short time.
One of the important parts of the trip to Nigeria is that “we were able to meet many travel agents, tour operators, airlines among others in Nigeria. And we at the GTBoard are glad that the Gambia Honorable Minister of Tourism and Culture has taken bold decision on Nigeria to be a better market for destination Gambia in term of reviving our regional market.”
He explained further that chosen Nigeria market is not a mistake for the fact that “Nigeria if not the biggest but one of the biggest in Africa in term of population and of course they have a strong buying power. And it is clear worldwide that Nigerian tourists have very spending power.”
Among the success stories of the trip is that “Air Peace which has stop flying to destination Gambia during the emerged of Covid-19 has confirmed its readiness to come back to The Gambia with minimum frequency of three flights direct from Nigeria to Banjul weekly. Asky Airline already back to the route while other airlines as well promise to join.”
Though, this will start after the New Year and probably it might start February or March, “but with lots of demands from Air Peace customers, they might be compelled to some flights in this festive period,” Adama Njie noted.
By Yunus S Saliu