By Louise Jobe
The Ministry of Tourism and Culture (MoTC), on Thursday January 17th 2019, at the quadrangle in Banjul inaugurated a new board that will steer the affairs of the Tourism sector, in consultation with the Gambia Tourism board.
The board members were nominated by the president in consultation with the MoTC, shortly before the expiring of the term of the outgoing board. Among the members were three Tourism experts in addition to others in the tourism industry. The new board members are Abdulie Touray who is the Chairperson of the board, Malleh Sallah and Babucarr Suwareh.
Hamat NK Bah, the Minister of Tourism and Culture in his remarks, described the occasion as a milestone in the tourism sector; that the Ministry has chosen the right people in the tourism industry to drive the new tourism policy in advancing the sector. Bah said he will not hesitate to take tourism as a priority sector in the National Development Plan (NDP) blueprint, in order to accomplish the NDP objectives. He added that they have confidence in the new board members.
Abdulie Hydara, the Director of Gambia Tourism Board (GTB), expressed gratitude to MoTC for their efforts in the industry as well as in constituting a new board for after the expiry of the former. Hydara said the Ministry has come up with competent people as members of the board. He noted that he is hopeful that with their experience, the new board will ensure the sector attain sustainable development.
Hydara thanked the staff and management of the GTB for their support and said with the support of the new board, the GTB will accomplish targets set in the NDP as well as other policies of Government, in developing the industry.
Abdulie M. Touray the new Chairperson for the new board, commended Government for the trust bestowed on him and his team.
“Being identified by the Ministry and endorsed by the president with the recommendation of the director general and permanent secretary, is not an accident. However, anytime I am given such responsibilities I task myself regarding my contribution towards the responsibilities bestowed on me, without the involvement of my colleagues,’’ he said. Touray stated that his team will complement the effort of the Ministry, and will deliver to expectation. ‘‘Tourism is fundamental and cross cutting and we need to make a positive impact. We have an initiative at Sahel Invest in collaboration with the American Chamber of Commerce, the Gambia America Foundation, to ensure we put a strategic tourism plan in place,’’ he said.