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Posted - 09 Oct 2020 :  14:54:31  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks rassimian,Personally I am more than happy with a soft dronk like Sprite or even better ONJO ,In my opinion the administration MUST give a high priorty to the tourist who come to the smiling coast for the SUN and hospitality enjoyment,THE TOURIST IS A BIG PERCENTAGE OF THE REVENUE to the country.

Originally posted by rassimian

Just spoken with my friend who runs a local bar in Manjai. She says that it is too expensive to import Julbrew from Senegal so what the locals are drinking is soft drinks or small shots of cheap gin, vodka, rum and any other spirit they can get hold of. The big question is what are restaurants, bars and hotels going to do within the tourist areas. Say 150 to 200 dal for a Julbrew at least, thats £2.50 to £3.50
for a bottle. Still cheaper than in many European countries so it will be about availability rather than price.

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.

Edited by - toubab1020 on 09 Oct 2020 14:55:27
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12260 Posts

Posted - 08 Dec 2020 :  16:53:41  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote

Just found this today Sorry about that

Another big blow to tourism apart from Covid 19 is the fact that a NEW TAX payable locally by visitors to Gambia arriving and leaving an Airport Development tax incorporating Airport Security tax ($40 to come and go)

Kathrine Nyang, was contacted by this reporter but his effort went futile after her rejection of multiple calls placed on her Qcell mobile phone line.

By Kebba Ansu Manneh On Sep 9, 2020

After a first catastrophic attempt in 2018, the government of The Gambia has reintroduced a 20 dollars levy for inbound and outbound passengers at the Banjul International airport. The move has sparked a wide range of general disapproval from actors in the Tourism sector as well as economic specialists who deem the tax toxic for business as uncertainty grapples the 2020/2021 winter tourist’s season with the coronavirus pandemic jeopardizing efforts by tour operators struggling to attract visitors to Gambia.

In enforcing its 20 $ tax levied on passengers at the Yundum airport, the government of President Adama Barrow is bringing anew a contract signed on 21st September 2018 with SECURIPORT. The five year Build, Maintain and Transfer deal on airport and immigration security was said to help provide security for the civil aviation and immigration as well as it takes care of E-Visa management system for the Gambian Government.

Despite the Gambia Government’s argument that the presence of SECURIPORT was necessary because of emerging security threats in the sub region, the tax was eventually canceled due largely to public and tourism stakeholders decries. Yet, the Government of President Adama Barrow never relented in reintroducing the highly criticized tax with new instructions on its enforcement now forwarded to the Gambia Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), the institution responsible for regulations and management at the Banjul airport.

“This decision came as a shock to all of us (Gambia Tourism Board and Ministry of Tourism and culture), we have not been copied with even the letter that carried the decision. To us this is a deliberate act because we have always been complaining against this $20 levy as it is not helpful to the industry,” said a top official of Gambia Tourism Board (GTBoard) who spoke anonymously to The Chronicle. The GT Board official observed that the decision will cost the travel and tourism industry in no small terms, revealing that tour operators has already started complaining about the reintroduction of the levy.

Liane Sallah, President of the Travel and Tourism Association of the Gambia (TTAG) doubling as the Managing Director of African Adventure Tours reacted that the reintroduction of the immigration and civil aviation security levy is a very bad decision that will negatively affected the tourism and travel industry. “The decision for tourists to pay $40 is a very bad decision that may lead to some tourists canceling their trips this year. We (TTAG) have not been engaged nor have we been invited to any discussions or meetings that led to this bad decision,” TTAG President reacted.

According to her, members of the Travel and Tourism Association of the Gambia (TTAG) have earlier protested to the minister of Tourism and culture in April of this year about the possible introduction of the levy on clients, adding that the tourism minister assures that the $40 levy will never be allowed to be introduced. Expressing her disappointment, the TTAG chair said “When we heard in March of this year that the government is on discussion about the reintroduction of the immigration and civil aviation security levy, we reacted through the minister of tourism and culture who asked us to go and sleep because this will never come into effect. So this is a big surprise to us (TTAG) because we were asked to go and sleep but unfortunately it’s here with us” said Liane Sallah.

Abdoulie Baks Touray, a season economist and former Chairman Board of Directors, Gambia Tourism Board observed that throughout the world, The Gambia is only one of ten countries that imposed such a levy on passengers, adding that Gambia is the only country in Africa that is charging Arrival Tax on passengers using its airport. Touray disclosed that “Many people book flights and wonder what are all the extra taxes and fees they see listed. Sometimes these taxes and fees are worked into the initial price showing on a booking site. But sometimes taxes and fees are added in after, often leaving travelers scratching their heads at the final price,” said Abdoulie Baks Touray.

The Chronicle contacted Lamin Dibba, Public Relations Officer of The Gambia Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) who declined to shed light on the development but only to refer this reporter to the ministry of interior for further clarification. The Chronicle further unearthed that Kathrine Nyang, Deputy Managing Director of GCAA and Abdoulie Hydara, former Director General of Gtboard have all protested against the introduction of the levy sometimes in 2018, at a meeting held at Statehouse.

Kathrine Nyang, was contacted by this reporter but his effort went futile after her rejection of multiple calls placed on her Qcell mobile phone line.

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.

Edited by - toubab1020 on 08 Dec 2020 17:04:41
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12260 Posts

Posted - 01 May 2021 :  19:32:23  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote

By Fatou Dahaba and Madi Ceesay on 30 April 2021

In the Gambia, there was literally a total shutdown in the tourism industry; which has a significant negative socio-economic impact on the tourism industry and the economy as a whole.
Given the tourism’s important contribution to both employment and GDP, Covid-19 has worsened the menace of unemployment in The Gambia. The total shutdown of the industry means most of the stakeholders in the industry risk losing their jobs or gain less income.

Actors in the tourism industry are mainly categorised into two: formal and informal businesses. The formal businesses which are usually establishments consist of hotels, bars and restaurants, beach bars, guest houses, lodges, eco lodges, ground tour operators, casinos, gaming and betting houses, equipment hirers, retail shops and services among others.
The informal businesses are usually individual businesses and consist of: tourist taxis, craft vendors and juice pressers among a host of others.
Ramatoulie Chama, a vendor at Senegambia Craft Market, said covid-19 has really affected her business as tourists are not coming, thus forcing her to close her shop for a while. However, she said she had to resume business because it’s the only place that she and her family depend for survival despite business not going as usual.
“I have to pay the electricity bill, house rent and water bill as well. Even feeding my family; if I think of these responsibilities I cannot sit home and for a year, now nothing is working for me in the market,” she said.
“As I speak to you now, I have owed some loans that I took since the beginning of the pandemic. I even owe my landlord for three months and still I cannot settle them. There is no single tourist in the craft market. Everywhere is empty.
Ramatoulie has been in the industry since childhood and this business is what she depends on for survival and as of now she has no savings in the bank. The little that she saves has gone during the lockdown and whatever she sells now is used to feed the family.
She disclosed that if she has the means and support, she would quit the industry and venture into another business. She tourists who are not coming like the previous years are the buyers of her products.
Adama Jallow, a 51-year-old disabled petty trader at the Senegambia Craft Market, expressed similar frustrations.
She recalled that sometimes in September last year during the rainy season, a win blew off her roof and her shop got flooded, destroying all her items and left her devastated.
According to her, she also took a loan to start fresh with the hope that after the season she would be able to pay her loan and continue her business as usual; but her expectation has faded away.
According to her, her sales on a daily basis could not even cover her transportation as she travels a few kilometres away from Senegambia.
The single parent and mother of three, said she started business in the tourism industry some 18 years ago and has been the breadwinner of her family.
According to her, she has no hope now than to go to the street and beg as the situation is getting unbearable for her family.
“I don’t have money to start a new business because I spent all my savings during the lockdown. Certainly I will quit industry; no one can tell when the tourism sector would be back to normalcy,” she said.
For Awa Ceesay, a fruit seller and juice presser, adjacent to Senegambia Craft Market, the narrative is different as she is determined to continue the business in the industry no matter how the situation.
“At least I make sales every day; although it is not as it used to be in the past years. The previous years, I would sometimes go home with D2000 at the end of every day as my sale, but now I don’t even sell D500 on a daily basis,” she disclosed.
“I’m used to it and it’s where I know. I will stay and continue and I am optimistic that the season will go back to normalcy someday,” she optimistically said.
Sheikh Tijan Nyang, founder and principal of Institute of Travel and Tourism of The Gambia, said craft market and food vendors are the most vulnerable group in the tourism sector and they contribute a lot and have been affected seriously.
“Their livelihood depends on tourism, although they are not only ones affected. The Covid-19 affects the entire economy and populace. These people do not have any means of survival besides what they were doing.”
He said that he doesn’t know when the next season starts, saying in his perspective, he does not see the likelihood of tourism resuming until 2025.
In The Gambia, the tourism season usually starts in October and ends in April.
However, Nyang opined that since the country is in its election year, it’s likely that many tourists would not visit the country until 2022.
He hinted that most of the hotels would go bankrupt because they depend on overdraft and loans even though the government appeals to banks to suspend interest rates; “but yet, loans are not paid and so survival is critical at the moment.”
“Unless we appeal to the government as a key player to seek funding from international agencies and see how they can give support to the vulnerable groups.”
According to The Gambia Bureau of Statistics (GBoS) a rapid assessment of the Impact of COVID-19 on Tourism and Related Sectors indicate that during the assessment, the respondents were asked about average monthly income during the peak season. The data shows bird watchers reported the highest average monthly earnings of GMD52,102.00 followed by taxi drivers (GMD 37,508.00) and craft market vendors (GMD 37,553.00). Airport porters had the least average monthly income (GMD 9,964.00).
The decline got even worse as The Gambia registered its first case of Covid-19 in March; a period when the countries from which Gambia receives most of its visitors were grappling with increasing numbers of cases.
In March 2019, there the occupancy rate was 73.6 per cent but this declined to 64.6 per cent in March 2020. This type of decline is reflected across all establishments although it is the hotels that have accounted for the most decline which also relates to the amount of expected forecast loss.

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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