Tourism authorities express satisfaction- As maiden flight arrives in Banjul

The arrival of the maiden flight for this season with 154 tourists to Destination Gambia became another historic and positive development to the Gambia Tourism Board, who has been working rigorously to extend the duration of the season from former six months to eight months in last tourism before the Ebola outbreak in some part of African countries, excluding Destination Gambia.

Speaking on behalf of the minister of Tourism and Culture shortly after the arrival of the first flight, Corredon Airline – CND511 with 154 passengers onboard from Holland, Codu Jabang, the deputy permanent secretary at MoTC expressed the ministry’s delight and satisfaction at the arrival of the flight.

She acknowledged that last year was not too good throughout the tourism industry in Africa due to the Ebola outbreak, though Destination Gambia was not affected. “But we are now grateful that this challenge is surmounted,” she stated.

However, Jabang remarked that this year’s season onward is full of optimistic, as lots of efforts have been put in place and that the season has been extended from six to eight months. “Meaning the season started a month earlier before the usual period and will end a month later, too, after the actual period,” she explained.

Receiving the 154 tourists from Holland on Friday afternoon, the DPS said is clear testimony of positive 2015/2016-winter tourism in Destination Gambia, as more tourist flights are expected every week from different countries.

Commenting on the service at the airport, she commended the GCAA, GIA, GTBoard, tour operators and all other tourism fraternity for a job well done and for their readiness in giving out their best.

For his part, Abdoullah Hydara, the director general of GTBoard, thanked the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, the governing body of GTBoard, and other tourism fraternity for their support.

He applauded the President of the Republic of The Gambia, His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr Yahya AJJ Jammeh Babili Mansa for his support to the tourism industry.

Hydara described the arrival of Corredon Airline with 154 passengers from Holland, being the season’s maiden flight as significant, saying it is the beginning of the “opportunity Gambians yearned for after hard work of joint marketing campaign and struggle of bringing more tourists to the country.”

He disclosed that between 24 and 27 tourist flights would be received per week as the season starts.

Given the breakdown of the flights per week, the director general stated that from UK is 7; expecting 9 from Dutch market; so as well from Northern Europe; Belgium and more for this 2015/2016 winter tourism season.

Baba Ceesay, director general of NCAC; Lamin Cham, commercial director of Gambia International Airline, deputising for the GIA managing director, and TSU commandant, among others expressed their satisfaction over the maiden flight.