Minister Bah Highlights Achievement and Progress Registered by Tourism Ministry

Minister Bah Highlights Achievement and Progress Registered by Tourism Ministry

 

As the Ministry of Tourism and Culture and its satellite institutions continued to work with its stakeholders towards restoring more confidence and tourism growth for destination Gambia, the Minister of Tourism and Culture, Hon. Hamat N.K. Bah on Tuesday briefed the press on the achievements registered in the sector.
The press conference was held at the Ministry’s conference conference hall in Banjul.
Outlining some of the achievements, Hon. Bah informed the press that the latest flight operations to The Gambia is TUI Netherlands that started its operations on the 19th February with a Boeing 737-800 series after two years of absence due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said they will operate all year round and plans are on the way to increase TUI Group Flight Frequencies to 12 flight per week for the 2022-2023 Winter Tourism Season; 6 flights from Holland, 2 flight from Belgium, and 4 flight from the UK.

Flight received per week
Minister Bah added that destination Gambia currently received 53 flights per week at the Banjul International Airport (both chartered; 16 flights and schedule 37 flights per week respectively).
He went on to add that the Ministry in collaboration with the GTBoard had coordinated on several occasions, vaccination campaigns and exercises in various locations in the Tourism Development Area for employees of the Tourism Industry to be vaccinated in other to boost customers confidence on destination Gambia as safe to travel.
“All throughout the period, my Ministry have been working hand in-glove with our stakeholders e.g. Hoteliers, International Tour Operation, Tourism SMEs paving the way to the opening of the tourism industry and here we are today witnessing the arrivals of chartered flight for the first time since the start of Covid-19 pandemic. Also, for the first time in the history of The Gambia, we are witnessing Air France flying to The Gambia daily,” Minister Bah informed the press.

Construction of feeder roads
The Minister of Tourism and Culture revealed that three feeder roads within the West Coast Tourism Development Are (TDA) are identified for construction and they are; Tamala/Kunta Kinteh Access Road, Senegambia Football field towards Mansea Beach Hotel access road and Golden/Sea front/Lemon Creek hotels access road. According to him, both Kunta Kinteh and Senegambia football field are currently under construction and Lemon Creek will start soon since they are working with NRA on the level aspect of the road.
“My Ministry in collaboration with the Ministry of Health had through the GTBoard established Covid Testing Centers in the TDA at the BB Craft Market in Kotu and this is specifically for the easy and speedy testing of departing tourists. Furthermore, a mobile testing team is being looked with the Ministry of Health and GTboard that will be testing guests in their hotels,” Minister Bah further revealed.
He added that hotels were encouraged to reserve rooms in designated areas for isolation in case of any positive cases. It is important to note that only symptomatic positive cases that are very rare for those with full vaccination, may be referred to clinics on the advice of staff of the Ministry of Health.

Trainings
My Ministry through GTboard and with support from the International Trade Centre (ITC)/Youth Empowerment Project (YEP), he added, had trained employees and vendors of the industry both formal and informal sector businesses on these guidelines as well as on Infection Prevention and Control.
He added that these training, which were conducted in all the regions of the country help the employees and vendors of the tourism industry to be equipped with the knowledge and skills in the control and prevention of the spread of Covid-19 virus in the industry as well as in their various communities.
Minister Bah stated that in a bid to decentralize tourism activities nationwide, an expansion program in tourism and hospitality training in rural Gambia is initiated in Janjangbureh in the Central River Region by the Gambia Tourism and Hospitality Institute (GTHI) in partnership with the Youth Empowerment Project (YEP) with 240 young Gambians to build capacity and create employment opportunities.
GTHI, he added, has established a fully equipped bakery center with a capacity to train 100 bakers and pastry cooks every year.

Financial support to Hunting Societies
The Tourism and Culture Minister informed the press that in December 2021, the MoTC gave financial support worth D300,000 to 9 Hunting Societies in Banjul to make them ready for the usual and highly anticipated Banjul “Gesseh” Cultural Nights end of December.
The beneficiary groups were; Ekun Baba Odeh Hunting Society; Odilleh Hunting Society; Gun Shot Hunting Society; Joluv Arts Banjul Cultural Festival; Rainbow Hunting Society; Omo Jesseh Odeh Hunting Society; Midlands Hunting Society; Mid East Hunting Society; and Banjul Cultural Committee Festival.
In conclusion, Minister Bah said that the NCAC worked with the organizing committees of these and other festivals to also give training in events management for successful holding of these cultural activities which promote culture and also build unity among Gambians.

Date: 23rd February 2022