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Tourism minister presides over In-country Destination Stakeholders’ Forum

02 Nov 2015

The minister of Tourism and Culture (MoTC) Wednesday presided over the opening of the 2nd In-Country Destination Stakeholders’ forum organised by The Gambia Tourism Board with the support of Ministry of Tourism and Culture.

The purpose of the two-day forum included updating the destination stakeholders on key strategic plans of the industry and some of the initiatives undertaken in efforts to achieve targeted arrival numbers; create the opportunity for all key stakeholders in Destination Gambia to be under one roof, with the main objective to discuss and agree on plans to transform the destination to be the Tourism Haven, in line with the Vision 2020, as well as MoTC strategy plan 2015-2020.

The In-Country Destination Stakeholder’s forum was attended by different tourism stakeholders, among them the international public relations and marketing firms representing The Gambia Tourism Board in different countries; ground tour operators; members of Gambia Hotel Association; Tourism and Travel Association Gambia; Tourism Marketing Committee; officials of GTBoard, NCAC, GTHI; MoTC.

Addressing the forum, Benjamin A Roberts reflected on the previous season 2013/2014 in comparison with 2014/2015, in which the country had suffered decline of 42% on tourist arrival to the country.

As the expectation is high, the minister expected everyone, especially the PR Marketing Firms, to work harder than in the past to enable positive growth.

He went on to inform the PR and marketing firms, the Ministry and GTBoard’s expectation from them as they (PR and marketing firms) are to create the requisite synergy to ensure the realisation and surpassing the target of 500,000 tourists arrival in the destination by the year 2020.

Minister Roberts discussed the Ministry’s various engagements and action points which include working on the negative images on The Gambia as regard to sex tourism; their focus on FAM Trips on travel agents especially for the German and Netherlands markets; regular update of PR and marketing firms on product initiatives within the destination and among other plans.

He used the forum to thank all stakeholders, PR and marketing firms especially Glenaki Tourism Industry, for partnering with Gambia Tourism Board and SN Brussels for recently bringing 60 sales and travel agents on a FAM Trip to Destination Gambia, and as well Kombo Beach Hotel for hosting them.

Momodou C Joof, the permanent secretary at MoTC, who earlier welcomed the stakeholders, especially the PR and marketing firms representing The Gambia in different countries, gave the recap of the day’s proceedings; AbdoullahHydara, gave the overview of the two-day forum including the strategic plans.

In addition, different presentations were made by Hillsbalfour – UK; ATL – Nigeria; AVIA Reps – Germany; Glenaki – Belgium; Interface Tourism – Spain; Tourreps – Netherlands, among others

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