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Tourism: International Visitor Survey Report validated

By Yunus S Saliu

The Project Implementation Unit (PIU) of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture overseeing the Tourism Diversification and Resilience in The Gambia Project (TDRGP), on Monday, 10th June reviewed and validated the International Visitor Survey Report in an event that took place at Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara International Conference Center, Bijilo.

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.

Presiding over the official opening of the validation event on behalf of Ma’am Cordu L Jabang-Senghore, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Tourism and Culture was Mr. Momodou Ceesay, the Project Coordinator of the Tourism Diversification and Resilience in The Gambia Project. He disclosed that one of the key activities under component 1 is the development of a participatory data-driven marketing strategy with a focus on digital tools and channels, promoting diverse tourism products, and with the targeted objective of increasing visitors from non-traditional markets.

He noted that the survey was funded under component 1 of the TDR project interventions to address the sector’s capacity for relevant data collection and analysis to inform policy decision-making, enhancing marketing to promote tourism recovery and diversification beyond source markets.

According to him, the International Visitor Survey (IVS) was part of the activities identified by tourism stakeholders as short-term gains during the first year and a half or project implementation when the work plan is heavy with studies and assessments.

“These quick-gain activities – or Joni Joni were selected based on the justification that they will add value to the consolidation of efforts towards short-term recovery in the first year of project implementation,” he explained.

Mr. Ceesay emphasized that the IVS was rolled out to gather valuable insights into the demographics, preferences, and satisfaction levels of visitors to The Gambia as a destination to gauge the reaction of visitors to different attractions within the country to inform future tourism development strategies and actions.

This comprehensive survey, he affirmed, is the first complete deliverable from the Joni Joni activities, and “initial reactions from perusing the document reveal positive feedback such as a good report, high-quality infographics, useful information that will help the tourism sector in the implementation of evidence-based policies.”

In appreciation, Mr Ceesay thanked numerous government officials who had worked tirelessly from the inception stage, the training, and the roll-out of the survey, “We thank you all for working collaboratively and for delivering on time.” In an extension, he thanked Acorn Tourism Development Consultants through Kevin Millington for their super job in different assignments.

Kevin Millington of Acorn Tourism Development Consultants made the presentation of the International Visitor Survey report.

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Yunus S Saliu

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