Published on : Friday, March 10, 2017
Although the Gambia seems to be lacking in terms of tourist arrivals even before the political impasse of 2016 presidential elections, however, the political deadlock has worsened the situation further with severe setbacks when the ex-President refused to accept defeat in the presidential elections. There were travel warnings from the foreign offices of the tourists’ source markets, followed by withdrawals of tour operators putting the sector at jeopardy half way to the end of January resulting in huge losses to the entire tourism industry and economy of the county.
According to the Vice Chairman of the Gambia Hotel Association, tourism in the Gambia might have experienced a loss of approximately 200 million dalasis after tourists withdrew from country during the political standoff, which was even worse than the 2014 Ebola outbreak. During the impasse, hotels had 0% occupancy rate as opposed to Ebola, when some tourists visited the country in spite of fears. It was a huge loss for the county, industry and tourists. Tourism has become the world’s fastest-growing economic sector over the last two decades, and so, all efforts should be made for bringing tourism sector in the Gambia back on track again. Officials of the Gambia’s tourism ministry are said to have “confirmed having meeting with stakeholders over the situation in the sector which they admit was “seriously” affected by the impasse”. The new government will do all it takes to attract more tourists to the country, adding that the Gambia is safer than any other place as a tourist destination.