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 The first flight for 2022-2023 tourist season
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Posted - 12 Oct 2022 :  13:17:53  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote

By Tabora Bojang on October 12, 2022

The 2022-23 tourist season begins this week with the first batch of tourists expected to arrive at the Banjul Airport from the U.K. on Friday 14ht October, with tour operators Gambia Experience.

The director general of the Gambia Tourism Board, Abubacarr Camara, revealed yesterday that another renowned operator Corendon from the Netherlands will also make its maiden flight on Sunday October 16th 2022.

DG Camara added that signs are looking good for a 50 percent tourism recovery from the Covid-19 period.

He disclosed that although some operators including TUI and Rainbow Tours are yet to confirm their maiden arrivals, a number of scheduled flights is also expected to bring tourists and other regular guests into the country during the season.

“Everything is in place. All the hotels are doing their best to upgrade their status. Our Quality Control and Licensing Department has also assessed all the facilities to make sure they are up to standard and we are working tirelessly with the relevant authorities to ensure that we have a very good booking and payment systems so that people can sit in their homes in Europe or anywhere and book their hotel and flight to The Gambia,” Camara said.

According to DG Camara, GTBoard has put in place ‘stringent mechanisms’ to tackle the menace of “bumbsters” and other crimes perpetuated at the industry.

“We have already made it clear that the industry is a no-go area for all those menaces and are working to ensure that we cleanse the TDA,” he assured.

Corendon Airlines representative in The Gambia Liane Sallah said they will be operating weekly flights to Banjul for the next six months, with one flight which could be extended to three flights weekly by December if bookings rebound higher.

However, Madam Sallah noted that they are mainly concerned that the ongoing road works and rising crime could hamper the season. She also cited the high security levy at the Banjul Airport as another factor that stifles tourism recovery efforts. “The safety of our clients and the ongoing road infrastructure are the two main issues that we are going to struggle within this season in addition to a lot of issues of crime and robbery and they [the authorities] need to work to ensure these crimes are away from the TDA and take the rotten apples out. The levy too has been a serious problem already but I know they are not going to take it away even though it is part of the reasons Nordic Leisure Travel Group is not coming. Paying D1000 coming in and out [of The Gambia] is too much. I have already proposed that if we have a lot of flights, they can reduce the cost [security levy] from D1000 to D500 but even that has proven to be a problem,” she said.

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.


12306 Posts

Posted - 17 Oct 2022 :  16:58:05  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote


Oct 17, 2022, 11:41 AM | Article By: Njie Baldeh

The first flight for 2022-2023 tourists’ season, Gambia Experience from the United Kingdom, on Friday 14 October landed at the Banjul International Airport with 164 passengers.

The air-bus was received on arrival by officials from The Gambia Tourism Board, tour operators and other tourism stakeholders.

Speaking to journalists shortly after the landing of the aircraft at the Banjul International Airport, Abubacarr Camara, director general, Gambia Tourism Board, said he was very impressed with the number, adding it’s a blessing as the season had started earlier than expected.

“We all know where we are coming, we have been affected by covid-19 since 2020-2021. So this year we are making an impact which is really a great achievement,” he said, adding this is the first flight of Gambia Experience and they would be coming three times a week from the UK only.

According to DG Camara, they are also expecting about four flights from TUI, two flights from Belgium and two flights from Holland, “the Rainbow Tours, Correndon are all coming big which is also a big improvement.”

“As I am speaking, we are expecting 20 chartered flights coming to this year’s tourist season compared to 16 chartered flights last year.

“We will also be having another flight which is coming from the sub-region, although we have an issue with Air France which has reduced one flight from five to four,” but we’re hoping that from discussion with them, they would increase the number of flights.

Although COVID has hit us hard but whatever the case maybe, we would not also want to see standards that are going down.

On the issue of quality standards, the GTBoard director general said it would not be compromised “because our inspectors are going round to inspect all facilities and anybody found wanting, we would stop that facility from operating.”

Adama Njie, director of Marketing Gambia Tourism Board, informed journalists that GTBoard in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism is pushing a lot on the chartered flights, but we are also stabilising on the scheduled flights coming to the destination.

On the issue of the operational levies at the airport, Mr Njie told journalists that they were working with the government concerning the issue, adding that the president has even set a task committee to look into the issue.

“The concern has been raised not only by Tour Operators, but even Gambians. It is not our wish but we are doing everything possible to make sure that the issue is solved.

Oumie Sise-Sallah, the manager for Discovery Tour, said “we have one flight a week and that’s going to change twice and in December there will be additional flights for Gambia Experience.”

“We really need to work a lot in order to make our destination the best,” she said, adding that it’s the responsibility of the authorities to get the security we need in this country.

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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