The Gambia: Gateway to Africa

The Gambia, often referred to as the ‘Gateway to Africa’, Is one of the smallest countries In the African continent and Is situated on the west coast. The country Is a former British colony gaining independence In February 1965. (ounce. Org, 2010). Most of the country’s tourism Is based around the enclave, which Is where economical opportunities are mainly focused. In the case of many countries In the developing world, tourism is an industry that can offer many economic advantages and transform regions.

It can assist in creating employment and hugely benefit communities in development projects that could live on for generations. It Is difficult to outline whether tourism as an industry can attract individuals to a certain destination or whether it is the location itself that manages to draw in tourists to gain economical benefits. It may seem that there are little worries in allowing a destination to become a popular choice among tourists, but managing the activities and ensuring that natural beauty and resources are not compromised should be a major objective for every tourism organization.

In order to assess the future proceedings of a country’s tourism Industry, one needs to examine the sustainable ethos that are practiced. It seems as though the amount of people traveling to Gambia for holidaying purposes has declined In recent times due to the global economic downturn (The Point, 2009). 1 . Development of tourism in Lad’s 2. Enclave Resort Structures In terms of developing a country’s tourism structure it can be difficult for the nation to encourage growth on a wider scale when there is so much emphasis put on resort tourism.

Page and Connell (2006) acknowledge the movement of tourists to remote areas of a destination and therefore not supporting the local economy. There is a major presence of foreign multi-national companies in the Gambia originating from Europe and the United States which use the country’s natural resources for economic gain. Britton (1982) also discusses the criticisms of package holiday tours and the circulation of tourists within the formal tourism sector, claiming that tourists on these package holidays are not encouraged to leave their complex during their stay.

This can result in leakages in tourism expenditure appearing in the informal sector, with figures reaching as high as 75% in the Gambia (Hall and Brown, 2006). By providing tourists with standards that would be expected in western countries, it becomes difficult to regard the investment of multi-national companies as a negative impact. Mitchell and Fall (2008) outline the foreign tourism involvement within the Gambia stating that without international airline companies and tour operators there would be no value chain and no tourists.

Naturally, as tourism is a vital industry for the country, it cannot afford to turn away foreign investment as it can act as an encouraging factor to attract tourists too destination. An aspect that can be used to encourage the movement of tourists to other areas of The Gambia is the establishment of alternative facilities to help entice Individuals away from enclave resorts.

Tribe and Already (2007) discuss new tourist developments concerned with increasing accommodation for the growing number of tourists traveling to the the Muskrats Forest offering to accommodate up to 7,000 individuals in an attempt to disperse tourism away from coastal areas. It may prove to be difficult to draw tourists away from what Safari (2003) outlines as the “g’s”: Sun Sand sex When combined, these are the factors which are attracting tourists to Third World aorist destinations and are commonly associated with enclave resorts as Safari (2003) explains.

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