Tourism Ministry Launch 68 million Dollar Project


By Makutu Manneh

The Ministry of Tourism and Culture has launched a project of 68 million dollars for the diversification and resilience of the Gambia’s tourism sector.

The project is a grant from the World Bank through the International Development Association (IDA). The project is to be implemented within five years and the areas it will look at will be to strengthen institutional and policy framework, improving capabilities, access to finance for tourism related MSMEs, building resilience through strengthening sustainable coastal infrastructure and rehabilitation of existing tourism sites.

Abdoulie Jallow, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, said the project will help to improve competitiveness and service delivery, reduce climate vulnerabilities and promote inclusive growth.

“Therefore, we are optimistic that the successful implementation of all components of this project will go a long way in transforming the tourism sector, thereby making destination Gambia more attractive to the diverse set of tourists from across the world,” he said. He said the tourism sector is one of the main contributors of GDP and employment in the country, and that the ministry of finance renewed its commitment to supporting the ministry of tourism and culture and the sector as a whole.

The PS also explained that they look forward to working together to achieve the project objectives, so as to place the country on a path of sustainable resilience and inclusive growth.

Ebrima Sillah, the Minister for Transport, Works and Infrastructure, said infrastructure is an important service that enhances the overall development of tourism and related projects. Hence accelerating their efforts to provide robust and resilient climate smart infrastructure in the Gambia tourism sector. He said, as a country, they have to get their priorities right to scale up their spending in infrastructural developments in order to meet the expected values of the tourism industry.

“That is why the tourism diversification and resilience project we are launching today will serve as a strong pedestal to which we can use to accelerate the monumental infrastructure outlay as envisaged in our national development plan, while at the same time sustainable manage, maintain and expand the existing infrastructure in the tourism sector,” he said. That the nobility of the project is that it will not only support the vulnerable and the most disadvantaged in the tourism sector, but will also build the much needed critical infrastructure particularly in the rural areas to score economic activities, create employment and complement efforts of poverty reduction and resilience of the rural population.

Hamat N.K Bah, the Minister for Tourism and Culture, said the diversification and resilience project shall support the tourism sector, diversify the tourism products, enhance tourism sites and destinations, and improve the marketing and branding of destination Gambia through capacity building of key institutions to inform policy decisions based on timely and update data. He said the project will also improve the capacities of tourism related micro, small and medium enterprises, and provide funding to help them grow and as well build the resilience of the tourism sector in the Gambia by financing coastal infrastructure work in west coast, tourism development areas and rehabilitating important tourism sites to ensure the sector is better positioned to recover from any future shocks.

“These co-components will be implemented using a targeted approach that integrates action as well as climate mitigation and adaptation approaches,” he said. He said the project will ensure that the best global practices in these areas are enhanced and also assured that this is the start of worthwhile development cooperation financing in the tourism sector.