By Tabora Bojang
A delegation led by the Minister for Tourism and Culture, Hamat Bah, yesterday embarked on assessment visit to three new and other upgraded hotels to check the level of execution of works ahead of the start of the new tourist season. The hotels are Tamala, African Princess and Metzy Residence.
The delegation, which includes officials of the the ministry, the Gambia Tourism Board, Gambia Tourism Institute and senior tourism security officials also checked on three other hotels under expansive renovations. They are Senegambia Hotel, Sunu Hotel or former Sarges and Holiday Beach Hotel in Kololi.
The minister told the hoteliers to maintain their commitment in expanding their facilities to meet quality standards in order to meet the country’s targets for a sustainable growth in the hospitality industry.
He warned that the ministry will not compromise deficiencies in the quality of standards the destination offers.
The tourism minister also inspected the offices of the tourism security unit where he held discussions with the commandant of the TSU, Ansumana Kinteh, who laments the security situations, constraints and their commitment to provide safe sanctuary for visitors and general industry.
The minister promised to address the issue of mobility as a common interest to all, adding that efforts are on the way to enhance the capacity of tourism security.
Speaking to the press after the tour, Minister Bah insisted that the issue of all-inclusive which has raised bitter complaints from vendors and local stakeholders “is here to stay”.
He said: “Sixty-two percent of the world travel bookings are on all-inclusive. We are a free market and everybody has right to bring tourists to the country within the confines of the law. Who are we to stop you selling the products that you want to sell? We are a free market society and open for all genuine holidaymakers.”