Tourism is very important to the Gambian economy. It provides lots of jobs, income and foreign exchange which are desperately needed by the country.
Constraints in the tourism sector are identified in the spheres of policy formulation and implementation, capital investment, human resource endowment, existing and potential tourist markets and seasonality issues.
The challenges the sector is facing are:
- Lack of a national carrier and poor connectivity to The Gambia as a tourist destination
- High landing fees
- The seasonality of Gambia’s tourism, and
- The “Bumster” menace.
To respond to these challenges I would:
- Support the relevant institutions and re-evaluate the Gambia’s Selling points and encourage more eco-responsible tourism.
- Establish a national carrier to improve connectivity to the Gambia.
- Support more home based tour operators and not rely solely on outside tour operators.
- Introduce domestic tourism; e.g. encourage private companies to start a domestic flight operating within the country.
- Revive Gambia River Transport.
- Liaise with the Gambia Civil Aviation Authority to make the Gambia a hub of tourist destination by removing bottle necks such as very high landing fees.
- Minimize the problems of bumsters by engaging them in some alternative productive ventures.