By Yunus S Saliu

As part of ushering in the new tourist winter season in Destination Gambia, the Ministry of Tourism and Culture joined by officials from its satellite institutions – the Gambia Tourism Board; National Center for Arts and Culture and Gambia Tourism and Hospitality Institute; Chairman of the National Assembly selected committee for tourism; Tourism Security Unit on Wednesday embarked on a two-day tour of facilities in destination Gambia.

The tour was divided into two phase. The phase one of the tour covered tourism development area in Banjul, and Greater Banjul while the phase two will cover other regions in the country.

The Minister and his entourage were able to visit over twenty places during the two days. The places visited within Banjul and Greater Banjul Area included Laico Atlantic Hotel which will start operation first week of November after a two solid years break; Wedner Beach Hotel which has been abandoned over a decade presently under renovation; National Museum Banjul; Cape Point Hotel; Katchikally; African Village Hotel, Bakau; Fajara Hotel and Sun Set Beach hotel, Kotu.

With the new Gambia, the hoteliers are optimistic about the just started 2017/2018 tourist winter season.

The phase two of the tour which will start in earnest will take the Minister and his team to the hinterland to assess other facilities available and equip them with information about the tangible and intangible heritages and sites in The Gambia.

Meanwhile, the pre-season tour avails officials the opportunity to know about the level of preparedness of stakeholders for the season; assess the conditions and standards of operations of hotels, hunting camps, condition and welfare of employees in the industry and among other things.

Honorable Hamat Bah, Minister of Tourism and Culture who led the tour expressed satisfaction over the visited facilities. He took his time to share ideas with the hoteliers after listening to their constraints.