By: Alieu Jallow
The Ministry of Tourism and Culture is set to share a whopping one million Dalasi to its stakeholders as the Gambia gears up for the opening of the new tourist season as the trade strides in the annals of building a vibrant economy for the country.
Speaking at a press conference at the Gambia Tourism Hospitality Institute, Minister Hamat NK Bah said the Ministry took measures to help mitigate and support partners in the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Minister Bah said the government has paid D60 million to hotels for quarantining corona virus monitor patients. This amount he added is not enough as thousands of hotel industry workers were laid off from work thus the need for more financial support to such stakeholders and partners.
The Tourism and Culture Minster said the Ministry has secured one hundred million dalasi to be distributed among tourism and culture institutions to refurbish, replenish, start business and train students.
According to Ministr Bah, the amount will be distributed as follows; 413 taxi drivers, 145 fruits sellers, 176 hair dressers, Senegambia Market Vendors, Kotu Market, Palma Rima, Banjul, Gambia Tourism Hospitality Institute, Hotels, Motels, Music and Theatre Associations, National Centre for Arts and Culture and many others.
The honourable Minister called for massive testing of Covid-19 to move the Gambia from the WHO orange zone of Covid-19 classification to attract more tourists for the coming season.
Minister Bah indicated that they are working on plans to attract Nigerian, Ghanaian and Senegalese tourism markets and to expand tourism beyond the Kombo St Mary Region.