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Nordic Leisure Travel Group drops operations to Gambia for upcoming winter season

The Nordic Leisure Travel Group, Stockholm in August 2022 cancelled its charter operation to Destination Gambia for the upcoming winter tourism season 2022, citing ‘current situation’ as the cause of the cancellation.

According to the Nordic Leisure Travel Group message dated 16th August, to the Gambia Tourism Board, “we all had high expectations for this winter season” but “unfortunately, the recovery for traveling after covid-19 pandemic has not developed as we first expected, one of the main reasons are the effects after the situation in Ukraine since 24th February,” 2022.

They also disclosed that they have seen a big impact on the global economy with mainly higher costs resulting in a difficult situation for traveling from Scandinavia.

Meanwhile, “the above-mentioned uncertainties combined with higher costs and increase of passenger tax in Banjul Airport have resulted in low demand and bookings for the destination and are the main reasons for this decision.”

In spite of the cancellation, the Gambia Tourism Board with its aggressive marketing strategy in place is optimistic about the winter tourism 2022 due in October. Sampling the reaction of Aboubacarr Camara, the managing director of the Gambia Tourism Board (GTBoard) about the cancellation, he said the Nordic Leisure Travel Group’s cancellation of operation to the destination is due to the difficulties the travel group is having which “about their recovery on Covid-19 as well as the implication of the Russia/Ukraine war. These are the reasons they mentioned.”

About the 40 Euros or the 20 Dollars at the airport, “it is insignificant as far as the reasons for their cancellation are concerned because most of their problems have to do with their operational issues in terms of acquiring aircrafts and so on,” DG Camara explained further.

He, however, expressed optimism about the upcoming winter season, saying during their outreach mission, some of the tour operators and the GTBoard were confident that the outlook was good and “is like the 2019 if not better off but not less.”
Mr. Camara quickly assured that everything would be fine though it might not be one hundred percent but everyone will see lots of improvement.”

Meanwhile, the Nordic Leisure Travel Group concluded that they would soon get back to the destination regarding the winter tourism season 2023 as they are looking to re-start the programme at a later stage.

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Yunus S Saliu

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