Tourism has been and is still – to some extent – a substantial contributor to Gambia’s GDP and therefore has always performed a central role in the country’s economic growth and development strategies. For at least two decades, The Gambia has been the best tourism destination in the West Africa region by dominating the Scandinavian, UK, and German markets prior to growing to other European markets.
The steady development of the industry was made possible because of meticulous, regular and careful planning and the aggressive marketing of the merchandise. In addition to providing essential employment to the local population, the sector provided unparalleled investment opportunities for Gambians to participate in and reap the benefits of a rise industry that held great promise.
The government did not only play a catalytic role in appealing to foreign investments to build up travel and leisure and the associated infrastructure, it performed its regulatory function, proactively, as a quality control measure. That was then. This is now. In Yaya Jammeh’s Gambia, like other aspects of the economy, tourism suffered from incorrect policies, general lack of transparency and rampant problem resulting in a precipitous decline in The Gambia as a tourist destination. Jammeh has become a major player in the financial life of the country by changing himself from a leader of the country to the leading businessman he’s become, distorting the market and prices in the process thus.
- Investment income figured above
- At an interest rate of 6%, you pay $77,841.34 in interest
- ► 2009 (25) – ► December 2009 (1)
- Married filing separately: $125,000
- Which of the next would not normally operate as a service business
In the public sector, he has hijacked the public procurement system by becoming the best arbiter. He invites private traders as singular bidders and check out award contracts without competition. He’s recognized to even impact the prize of contracts on externally-finance tasks of the World Bank or investment company, African Development Bank or investment company and the Islamic Development Bank or investment company to mention a few.
We’ve come to learn that the Swiss-Gambian-Romanian businessman, Nicholas Bogdan Buzaianu has leased the hotel from SSHFC for 10 years and he has bought close by Sunbeach (formerly Sunwing) Hotel. We are still looking into the details of both deals. It must be noted that Gambian hotel employees with many years’ service and who’ve been contributing towards their retirement were forced to forfeit future benefits when these hotels changed hands.
The tourism scenery in addition has been dramatically impacted by 22 many years of dictatorship. The increasing militarization of the tourism development areas, particularly the beaches and the immediate hotel perimeters in the name of security has switched off a great number of visitors and has triggered discomfort. Many travelers have complained about the increasing presence of troops in tourist areas that provide the feeling of an occupied city. The ever-present present AK-47-toting military on patrol and the many checkpoints they may be put through, and harassed in the process back this up feeling. The condition of Gambian tourism is not stimulating. The number of first-time visitors has been heading down while repeat visitors have slowed to a trickle for the reason outlined above.
The CPF program can be improved, but it is normally sound and has served us for many years. Of course the intent of the article is never to let the Government from the hook. A good citizen should challenge the investment choices made by the custodians of tax-payer money. Perhaps more income can be channeled to raised Poly and ITE apprenticeship programs instead of building a new University. They are all worthy points of dialogue which and can be carried out without committing libel against anyone.