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Gambia Faces Challenges with Cleanliness, Internet Access, Others

By Yunus S Saliu

Gambia, a highly desired destination in the region, is facing pressure to enhance its internet infrastructure, cleanliness standards, and airport internet connectivity, among other crucial aspects that contribute to a memorable travel experience.

This challenge becomes a concern for some of the relevant stakeholders that gathered at the Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara International Conference Center in Bijilo on Monday to review and validate the International Visitor Survey Report (IVS) spearheaded by the Project Implementation Unit (PIU) of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture overseeing the Tourism Diversification and Resilience in The Gambia Project (TDRGP).

Kevin Millington of Acorn Tourism Development Consultants in his presentation of the International Visitor Survey report disclosed some dissatisfied situations as per the survey carried out among the tourists who visited the destination.

According to him, in the survey report, most of the tourists are dissatisfied with the environment saying there is “too much garbage, plastic scattered around, begging harassment and traffic congestion,” and also, pollution, potholes, security check-ups at the airport under this group the destination is rated 10.7%.
Road network, the attractiveness of the country, internet, cleanliness, road safety, lives of Gambians, beaches, and hotel services were grouped under General Improvement where the destination scored 24.5%.

The destination was rated 44.6% and 13.0% on Bad Roads, poorly maintained roads, dirty roads, small roads, roads needing improvement, potholes, congestion, and Airport Security Fees respectively.
Bad drivers – 4.3%, Negative comments on food: poor, not enough, not always open 3.6% while on the immigration service needs improvement including personnel the unit scored 3.4% and poor customer service earned the destination 2.2%. Hotel improvements/modernization, poor infrastructure, and the need for better internet are 2.2%, 2.0%, 1.4%, and 0.8% respectively.

Under clean-up, we have beaches, country, markets, rubbish, roads, and litter is 26.8% while the destination placed 25.4% for too much plastic, recycled plastic.

Notwithstanding, overall, under impressions of The Gambia, the destination scored 82.6%, he disclosed,

However, the International Visitor Survey (IVS) was carried out at the Banjul International Airport for the inbound tourist segment by the Project Implementation Unit through Acorn Tourism Development Consultants. It was an exercise administered through a questionnaire jointly developed and validated by all relevant stakeholders and was conducted from 14th March and ended by 3rd May 2024.

The purpose of the survey was to gather intelligence that will guide short-term planning, marketing, and branding, and also serve as a basis and reliable information source for the planned development of a comprehensive marketing strategy for The Gambia.

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Yunus S Saliu

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