PRESS RELEASE BY THE TOURISM FRATERNITY
The tourism fraternity comprising The Gambia Hotel Association, Tourism and Travel Association of the Gambia and Association of Small Scale Enterprise in Tourism representing the voice of the multitude of tourism operators in the Gambia are at the forefront of promoting the Gambia, “the smiling coast of Africa” as the most sought after tourist destination in Africa.
The tourism fraternity commends the way and manner in which the Gambian people have handle the political situation since the outcome of the December 1st election which clearly demonstrates the political maturity and sincerity to democratic values.
Tourism is a very sensitive and highly volatile industry that thrives on a stable and peaceful political environment. The recent developments with regards to the political situation of the Gambia is of great concern to the Associations as we are already beginning to see a decline in the arrival figures and cancellation of bookings for this season.
Indeed, tourism remains a strong pillar of The Gambia economy, contributing over 20% of GDP while offering gainful employment to tens of thousands of Gambians both directly and indirectly, as well as providing much needed foreign exchange earnings to the banking and other sectors of the economy.
The unconstitutional declaration by the outgoing president to annul the results and deem them null and void is contrary to our cherished democratic values of peace, progress and prosperity.
It is therefore important to note that it is only in an atmosphere of prevailing peace and security that the country will realise continued economic growth and development. The Associations are standing in solidarity with civil society organizations in calling for a peaceful handover of power to the president elect Mr. Adama Barrow.
We therefore call on President Jammeh to respect the outcome of the elections as announced by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) which in the final analysis extols the expression of the will of the Gambian people.
We hereby seize this opportunity to inform all visitors, partners, particularly tour operators, public relation and marketing firms that the Gambia remains peaceful and secure for tourism and business generally.