By Ndey Sowe
The Board of Directors of Tourism recently awarded the Gambia Hotels Association scholarships For All- The Gambia (TAG) to pursue an Associate Bachelor’s degree in Hotel Management
The awards are in partnership with St Clement University (Switzerland campus) and seven scholarships were awarded to the beneficiaries at a local hotel in Senegambia.
In 2006, TAG was established to promote an inclusive tourist industry in which all infrastructures, products, and services are effortlessly accessible to all tourists including tourists with disabilities for a nostalgic memorable holiday.
Dr Yahya Muhammed Bah, the Founder and Executive Director of TAG, said the objective of TAG is to ensure there is inclusive tourism that provides a destination for everyone including persons with disabilities.
He added that an essential prerequisite is to ensure well-trained social workers, tourism administrators, and community development experts who can subsequently serve as partners in development.
He indicated that since tourists today are not only content with living within the confines of hotels, being bussed to sites and entertained in places that mainly cater to tourists, but are increasingly interested in experiencing the diversity of the holiday environment in all its aspects, including its people, culture, architecture, nature, and way of life.
He said this trend will be even more marked as tourists become more informed about the country’s culture, traditions, and other indigenous experiences.
Mr Saja Sambou, Senior Manager, Human Resource and Administration GT-Board, said irrespective of what types of products the Gambia has if there is not proper training and the right people to manage the hotels, the country will not compete at the same level with other destinations.
“This is why we prioritise capacity building and training very well because it has to go side by side with the industry’s growth,” Mr Sambou added.
While urging the beneficiaries to make the best use of the opportunity, he thanked TAG and its partners for the laudable gesture.
Francis Njie, Chairman Gambia Hotels Association, thanked St Clement University (Switzerland campus) through TAG for awarding the scholarship to deserving employees of the Gambia hospitality sector and assured them that the knowledge gained from the course of study will add value to recipients and the tourism sector as a whole.
The beneficiaries are Saharaa Fye Dejiba from Leisure Group, Fatou Ndow from Ngala Lodge, Hali Njie from GT-Board, Aminatta Senghore from Kairaba Beach Hotel, Karamo Jammeh from GTHI, Omar Buwaro from Baobab Hotel and Ismaila Bah from Accessible Tourism will go through an online course with the St Clement University through TAG.