Friday, May 14, 2010


New Banjul The Gambia(MB)-In its efforts to promote The Gambia as a Tourists Destination, the Honorable Fatou Mass Jobe, The Minister of Tourism and Culture, today announced that the Republic of The Gambia will host ATA’s 35th Annual Congress in the capital city of Banjul in May, 2010.

“It is with great pride that we are once again partnering with ATA to invite the world to visit and explore The Gambia,” said Minister Njie. “The Gambian government places great priority on tourism, which has contributed significantly to our country’s growth and stability. We hope that the ATA Congress will help us continue to promote our country in new marketplaces and attract new investment in the sector.”

The Gambia, known as the “Smiling Coast of Africa,” is famous for its luxurious beach resorts, quaint fishing villages and magnificent coastline, but there is much more to the affordable and safe West African country, including peaceful and friendly people, eco-tourism, sports fishing, bird watching, music, dancing and traditional wrestling matches, and visiting trans-Atlantic slave trade sites.

“The Gambia has made amazing progress with its travel and tourism industry by building public and private-sector partnerships, where the government creates the conditions for the private sector to invest in the industry, “By combining The Gambia’s ability to attract tourist arrivals, particularly from Europe, with ATA’s ability to engage diverse travel professionals from around the world, particularly in North America and across Africa, the congress holds tremendous promise for turning tourism into a continental economic driver.”

ATA’s hallmark international event will be attended by African tourism ministers and industry experts representing tourism boards, travel agencies, ground operator companies, airlines, and hotels. Many participants from the travel trade media and the corporate, non profit and academic sectors are also expected to attend.

According to the Minister, the four-day event will engage delegates in discussions on a range of industry topics, such as public-private sector partnership, marketing and promotion, tourism infrastructure development, industry trends, and social media. ATA member countries will organize a few evening networking receptions and ATA’s Young Professionals Network will meet with local hospitality professionals and students.

For the second year, the congress will also include a marketplace for buyers and sellers specializing in Destination Africa. Delegates will also have the opportunity to explore the country on pre or post congress trips, as well as on the Host Country Day.

The 2010 Congress builds on the success of the West African country’s longstanding ties with ATA. In 1984, ATA held its ninth congress in Banjul, immediately following the association’s eight congress in Cairo, Egypt.

To prepare for the annual event, ATA will send a delegation to Banjul in November for a site inspection. During the visit, the team will meet with representatives from the public and private sectors and ATA-Banjul chapter members, as well as visit the proposed conference, lodging and entertainment venues.

The Honorable Minister took the opportunity to thank His Excellency The President, Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr Yahya A J J Jammeh for his continued support towards promoting The Gambia as a tourist destination, and the Ministry of Finance for their assistance in securing the bid to host the event in The Gambia. She congratulated Mr Alieu Secka who was recently appointed as Chairman of ATA The Gambia Chapter.

She thanks all stakeholders for their support and urged them to carry on the good job for the mutual benefit of all Gambians.

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