Continuing her tour of meetings with tourism stakeholders, Angella Colley, Secretary of State for Tourism and Culture, yesterday visited Wadner Beach and Fajara Craft Markets, as this year’s tourist season began.
Speaking at Wadner Beach Craft Market, Fatou Faye, President of the Wadner Beach Craft Market, welcomed SoS Colley and her delegation.
She complained to the SoS and GTA authorities that ‘bumsters’ disturb them a lot, especially when tourists visit the market.
According to her, ‘bumsters’ do steal their properties, sell cannabis in the area and break into the abandoned shops where they often spend the night. She then called on the Department of Tourism and GTA, to immediately address the issue.
Pa Malleh Sallah, a Beach Bar and Restaurant Owner, at Wadner Beach Hotel, complained of low income-earning, noting that they have a few tourists who visit the place, unlike in the past.
At Fajara Craft Market, Haruna Martin President of Fajara Craft Market, appealed to the Tourism SoS and GTA, to ensure that Fajara Beach Hotel begin operation soonest.
Responding to retailers at Wadner and Fajara Craft Markets, Ida Jeng Njie GTA’s Marketing Manager, advised them to label and update their products, in order to attract more tourists.
Binta Jobe, Director of Quality and Licensing, called on craft retailers to secure Identity Cards for easy identification and security reasons. She also advised them to keep the craftmarket premises clean.
For his part, Kaliba Senghore, Director-General of the Gambia Tourism Authority, explained the purpose of the visit and described tourism as an important branch of national development.
According to him, GTA’s main aim is to promote and sell The Gambia’s good image to the outside world.
He said GTA’s Training Department will also provide training for retailers at various craft markets.
On her part, Angella Colley, SoS for Tourism and Culture, advised retailers to diversify their products to attract many tourists.
According to her, Tourism Security Unit, will address the ‘bumpsters’ problems and then urged retailers at craftmarkets to report any problem to them.
SoS Colley also advised the sellers to clean their environment and also join ASSET for better improvement.
She finally promised them that her department will work, in close collaboration with the GTA to support the craft markets.
Mariam Njie, Vice-President of the Fajara Craft Market Association, presented a gift to SoS Angella Colley as a token of appreciation.