Africa: It’s our business to promote responsible tourism
Tourism is a multi-million dollar worldwide business and accounts for 30% of global trade revenues in services. Some of these services include transportation, accommodation, hospitality, and entertainment. It is also responsible, too, for six per cent of global trade in products, including food and souvenirs.
This clearly, tells us a little about the significance of tourism sector in global economy.
However, despite the millions associated with the tourism, organised underworld drug cartels based in Europe uses The Gambia as transit port.
The security operatives in The Gambia trained to detect criminals and carriers have alerted internal communications and Interpol of the matter. Legal tour and ground operators may not be adversely affected. Therefore, let’s all be vigilant in safeguarding the country’s good reputation among the community of nations.
Tourism is considered to be one of the major earners and is crucial in any development process. However, in order to boost the arrival numbers, it is essential to carry out aggressive promotion and marketing campaign. This reminds us about the role of the private sector in boosting tourism. There is also the need to build the necessary infrastructure which could accommodate more tourists and in the event promote the country as a holiday parasite for visitors.
The United Nations World Trade Organisation estimates that annually approximately 1.2 billion people travel abroad. In responding to this growing business, many countries have turned tourism into a pillar of economic growth. Tourism is the second most source of income for The Gambia aside agriculture.
The sector also creates job opportunities for thousands of youths, thus enabling them to contribute to the economic livelihoods and the country’s economy.
As we fast approach the commencement of this tourism season, hopes are high that the country will significantly consolidate the gains especially in its arrival numbers. We all have a role to play in marketing Destination Gambia.
It’s our business to promote responsible tourism and embrace visitors as one of us. Let’s open to them and show them that genuine Gambian hospitality. This will motivate them and encourage them for future visits.
The Gambia’s achievement in the global tourism industry has been exemplary. And this has been demonstrated in the recent accolade conferred on the country as ‘Tourism Destination of The Year Award’.
Let’s make it a point of duty to market the country as a unique destination worth exploring.
“Tourism provides employment to the poorest of the poor. Gram seller earns something, auto-rickshaw driver earns something, pakoda seller earns something, and tea seller also earns something.”
By Narendra Modi