ITC Shares

New Gambian tourism products show well at World Travel Market

19 December 2019
Waqas Rafique, International Trade Centre

One of Africa’s smallest countries makes a big splash after presenting itself to movers and shakers of the global travel industry in London

The Gambia launched a river-based cultural and nature tour called the Ninki Nanka Trail at the World Travel Market, a major international travel industry event, in November 2019.

First conceived in the 1980s to open upcountry tourism along the River Gambia, the trail came into being after comprehensive market research and product piloting. It offers an exciting new responsible-tourism product for The Gambia, and will be managed in a collaborative way that delivers clear benefits for both the local communities and tour operators involved.

At the launch in London, virtual reality tours instantly transported viewers to catch a glimpse of breathtaking scenes along the trail. Another highlight of the country’s participation at the World Travel Market was a youth and trade roadmap of The Gambia.

It was designed with the technical assistance of the International Trade Centre (ITC) as part of the Youth Empowerment Project (YEP) funded by the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa.

The roadmap is a policy instrument that helps develop sustainable tourism and provide jobs for young people all across the country. It will also assesses the status of the sector and its challenges so that tour operators can evaluate the potential of new tourism services upriver.

These initiatives aim to create jobs in rural populations most vulnerable to migration from The Gambia. The YEP hopes to reduce migration pressures in The Gambia by tackling one of its root causes – joblessness.

The development of tourism in The Gambia is an extension of its Tekki Fii campaign, supported by the ITC Youth Empowerment Project, that helps young people to “make it here” (in The Gambia) rather than leave the country in search of economic opportunity.