Africa: Gambia Tourism Board advises IEC not to schedule Elections during the Tourism Season in December
Director-General of Gambia Tourism Board has suggested to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) not to schedule any general election in the month of December, saying that it’s the month that tourists visit The Gambia.
“This is the month when tourists will be in the country to enjoy their holiday. But if the ICE choose the same month for national election, it will affect the tourists’ season and that will not be good for our economy,” he submitted.
Abdoulie Hydara made the suggestion while presenting his institution’s 2017 activity report and financial statement before the National Assembly select committee on Tourism, Arts and Youth and Sports.
He said the tourist industry has been hugely contributing to Gambia’s economic growth and development and anything that could thwart that achievement should not be allowed.
Mr. Hydara said the year under review witnessed a paradigm shift in Gambia’s development, saying that transformation is as a result of the destination having to deal with two consecutive crisis situations such as; the Ebola disease and the negative travel advice as a result of the political impasse that grips the country in the 2016-2017 tourists’ season.
He noted that the new political dispensation has tremendously influenced the direction of the country’s tourism development, making Gambia Tourism Board’s role as the implementing agency more crucial than before.
He explained that over the years, achievements have been registered towards the fulfillment of the vision of attracting 350,000 tourists by 2020 as envisaged in the National Development Plan (NDP).
By Ismaila Sonko