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Published On: Fri, Mar 22nd, 2024

Hamat Nk Bah Dwell on Achievement from 2017 to date as Minister of Tourism 

The Ministry of tourism and culture the now former minister Hamat NK Bah held a press conference on the 20th March 2024 which was centered on the achievement of the ministry from 2017 to date.

 Hamat NK bah who is now the current minister of Land and regional Government Dwell on the successes registered during his tenure as the minister of Tourism and culture.

He highlighted that under his leadership as the minister, he was able to achieve numerous successes which includes several breakthrough as they were able to facilitate the coming of many flights from Italy and other countries this year, adding that the number of arrivals were between 139,000 and 150,000 per year, but from 2019 his government raised the number of arrivals to 230,000 and that when Covid-19 came they went down to 90,000, and then they recovered quickly, and by December, they are expecting to reach around 300,000 arrivals. 

“The first thing we did when we came was to ensure that they were allowed to employ more professionals, revamped the institution, and of course more people, this he said  has paid dividends and the government has wasted no time in revisiting their wages and the budgetary allocations of the Centre and this gave them the capacity to deliver whatever they deliver now,” the Minister said.

He added that the heritage sites under the Centre are also under construction as some are completed while the others will be done soon.

Talking on the recently concluded bicentenary that was held in Janjanbureh, the Minister mentioned that the event was a successful one and henceforth it will be an annual event from now onwards. He revealed that a modern national theater will also be built for Gambian artists to showcase their talent and other important issues.

Moving forward he said all this was achieved through rigorous marketing by Gambians, who replaced foreign firms to promote this country.

Speaking on why he dissolved the board of the Gambia Tourism Board, he mentioned that he acted on the right path and was done in good faith and for the interest of the country.

He said the government, through his Ministry then, was also able to build a new head office for the Gambia Tourism Board and expand its activities into the international markets. He revealed that just about two weeks ago, a deal was signed with Apollo Group for the resumption of Scandinavian tourists into the Gambia starting this coming October.

Minister Bah highlighted that another deal was signed recently with another airline coming from Roma, in Italy by bringing in tourists. This is an opportunity for Gambians in Italy to fly in without difficulties. We signed another contract with one of the third largest operators in France to promote and sell the Gambia’s tourism sector,” he said.

On the Gambia Tourism and Hospitality Institute, the outgoing Minister stated that the institution has significantly gone through a significant transformation process with a new management in place leading to the expansion of their services across the board.

Mr Bah disclosed that the institution is also going into a bakery to train Gambians and this will continue with partners such as the World Bank to build the capacity of more Gambians, especially the youths as a measurement to curtail the backway syndrome, and that twelve new hotels will soon be completed and that the government has succeeded in getting back lost investors such as the Scandinavian tourists who were lost due to the collapse of Thomas Cook travel company.

Regarding the National Centre for Arts and Culture, Honorable Bah mentioned the institution was one of the greatest achievers of all the institutions under the new dispensation as it was dumped by the previous regimes and it was left out.

He finally dismissed allegations that he and some other officials of the tourism sector were involved in some illegal land transactions describing them as bogus and unfounded allegations levied against them by some unscrupulous individuals.

This activity was held at the Gambia tourism and hospitality institute (GTHI) and brought together dignitaries from various ministries and agencies this includes Hassoum Ceesay DG of the National center for Arts and Culture, Government spokesperson Ebrima Sankareh, Momodou Singhateh DG GTHI, Abubacarr S Camara DG of the Gambia Tourism Board and the Outgoing minister of Tourism and Culture Hamat NK Bah and Incoming minister of Tourism and Culture Abdou Jobe . 

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