By Yunus S Saliu
The Institute of Travel and Tourism of The Gambia (ITTOG), on Saturday, 25th March 2023 celebrated 15th years of success in TVET Education and also graduated 69 students who had completed their courses in different areas of study which include Travel and Hospitality, Travel and Tourism, Cookery and Pastry, Amadeus Booking System and Cabin Crew and Airport Operations.
The joyous event held at the ITTOG premises situated at the West African Insurance Institute, Manjai was also used to honour those who have contributed immensely toward the tourism sector.
Addressing the gathering, Sheik Tejan Nyang, Head of School ITTOG said the day marked 15 years of success in TVET education that touched the lives of many tourism professionals “who passed through this noble institute of learning that have given knowledge and skills generally to young people to serve in the tourism industry both locally and internationally.”
As they celebrate 15 years of success, he said they have learned from the challenges, endured, and will overcome them with patience and commitment to supporting many individuals and organizations.
With their 15 years of journey, he paid tribute to those pioneers that have contributed to the success of the institute by laying the foundation that formed the pillars of their success while thanking both their international and Gambian partners who had supported them financially, technically, and morally.
The Head of the School went on to note that the ITTOG celebration every year is two-fold, that’s celebrating distinct personalities who worked over the years in the tourism sector and deserved to be recognized for their hard work, dedication, and commitment to duty for the love of their profession.
As part of the activities marking the graduation, six people who have contributed toward the tourism sector were given awards and the awardees included Mrs. Mamie Ndure Njie – 1st Gambian Woman to Establish a Restaurant Take Away Service, Mrs. Luciana Sanbong Awumee – 1st Gambian Female Food and Beverage Manageress; Mrs. Fatou Joko Bojang – 1st Gambian Female Housekeeper; Mr. Paul Marone – 1st Gambian Hotel Manager; Mrs. Ndey Cham Pioneer – 2nd Generation Craft Market Vendor; Mr. Sainey Singhateh – 2nd Generation Craft Market Vendor and also the graduated students.
Dr. Adama Bah, chairman board of directors for ITTOG on behalf of the board members salutes the management of ITTOG for a job well done for the past 15 years of their success in TVET education.
While congratulating the graduated students he stated that over the years ITTOG has steadily made progress in graduating 1000s of students and they are “students that are holding different positions in The Gambia and around the world.”
He explained that they were involved in different projects like the Ninki-Nanka Trail with partners; MBOKA Festival for Art, Culture, and Sports, the No Woman Left Behind Project, Goor Goorlu Festival in Zinguinchor; Niumi Badiya Festival in Tubacouta and so on.
Meanwhile, he said the development of tourism needs a widespread distribution of economic and social benefits throughout, including private sector actors, improving local prosperity, quality of life, and social equity.
“Tourism should be a positive and beneficial experience for travelers and hosts alike to act as a force for mutual understanding and respect. The Gambia needs tourism that ensures responsible resource management, which addresses the negative impacts and respects environmental and cultural capacities,” he added.