We’ve talked a lot about the Gambia these past few days, especially because this week marks the first anniversary of the victory of Adama Barrow in the presidential election of December 2. A victory that marked the end of Yahya Jammeh’s 22 years’ rule and the beginning of a new era for the country especially in the field of tourism.
The last season was not good for the tourism industry because of the political crisis that had driven tourists away. But Gambia is getting back on track thanks to the arrival of tourists.
The Gambia has many tourist attractions… starting with its beaches which are really beautiful. But it is not just that, there is also a whole historical part that traces the colonial past of the country.
For example the James Island popularly known as the Kunta Kinte island in honour of the hero of “Roots”, the novel by Alex Haley that some of us discovered through the TV series. The island was also named a Unesco World Heritage site in 2003.
There are also many activities like skydiving, fishing and canoe rides and then, very popular with tourists watching birds and chimpanzees in the wilderness.
Reconciliation with neighbouring Senegal also created new tourism opportunities especially for tour operators. I was able to speak to Yasameen Demba . A young Gambian who through her agency, explores the Gambia, highlights the tourism heritage of the country.
Another sign that the Gambia is on the right track, is the return of investors and foreign companies. An example is that of Gambian businessman, Sainey Manneh, an expatriate in Europe for many years who decided to return home to contribute to his country’s economy.