Gambia: Ebola fears threaten Gambian tourism

Banjul, Gambia (PANA) - Though Gambia remains Ebola-free, the disease's pandemic in some West African nations has adversely affected the tourism sector in The Gambia, according to former Director of Tourism Shiekh Tijan Nyang.

Nyang, who is now the principal of the Institute of Travel and Tourism of The Gambia, told PANA
here Sunday that the misconception about the disease has caused a “serious damage” to the country’s fragile tourism industry.

He said this would equally impact negatively on a significant number of Gambian families who depend on the industry for their survival.

Ebola has claimed over 5,000 lives in the West African States of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

“The western people are viewing Africa as a country rather than a continent and this has made many tour operators to be bystanders while others have already cancelled flights to destination countries in Africa that have not been affected by this disease,” Nyang said.

He said because of Ebola, all the efforts put by players in the tourism sector, including renovation of hotels and many tourism attraction dotting the country's coastline, have failed to yield the expected dividends.

“To me, it is a whole season lost...If this status quo does not change many people will be out of work in the industry and consequently even the nation’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) will be severely affected,” Nyang said.
-0- PANA MSS/SEG 9Nov2014

09 november 2014 23:00:24

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