Banjul, Gambia (PANA) - Oumie Ceesay, manager of Discovery Tours in The Gambia, has expressed concern over the uncleanliness of Banjul International Airport and its environment, describing the situation as embarrassing for visitors and operators working in the country tourism industry.
Ceesay made the observation here Saturday at the Banjul International Airport where she joined officials of The Gambia Tourism Board (GTBoard) to receive the maiden flight of Gambia Experience for the 2019/20 tourists season that brought in 365 tourists mainly from the United Kingdom.
“Something that very much concerns me is the uncleanliness of the airport, which is embarrassing, especially driving right from the airport down to the hotels and these areas which are best places in this country. From the airport to the resort areas all you see is dumping sites every few meters. I think if we really need to move, we really needs to work on the basics and that is a priority that we need to focus on to make sure our country is cleaner and much more cleaner,” Ceesay pointed out.
Ceesay said the current situation of the airport was unacceptable and the airport authorities must accept and work towards improving the facility for the common good.
She urged the airport officials to improve on the basic services such as the cleanliness of the environment of the airport, the facilities including the toilets for not only the tourists coming to the country but as well the locals.
According to her, The Gambia as tourist destination must also work harder to improve on the level of service delivery in the sector, observing that in improving the level of service delivery, it has to involve all stakeholders including the airport, hotels, restaurants, and ground tour agencies, among others.
“Something I think we also need to focus on is improving the level of service delivery in all sectors of the industry from the airport to the hotels,“ she said.
She further said that her company was partnering with Gambia Experience another tour operation in the country, revealing that her company was expected to receive over 13, 000 tourists for the 2019/20 tourists season.
Ceesay said Gambia Experience had already increased the number of flights coming into the country demanded by the collapse of Thomas Cook Group, the biggest tour operation in UK last month.
“I think what is now important after the collapse of Thomas Cook Group is to focus, learn and move on and what Gambia Experience has done to this effect is to increase the number of flights to The Gambia and there will be a total increase in volume of about 13, 000 visitors to The Gambia.
“They will be having flights from Manchester, Gatwick and Birmingham in addition to the efforts of other operators. I think it will reduce the negative effects of the collapse of Thomas Cook,” Ceesay stated.
-0- PANA MSS/RA 26Oct2019