Tourism in The Gambia
Posted on March 2, 2012 byunder
Tourism in the Gambia is an essential part of the economy, contributing to 20% of Gambia’s incoming finances and provides over 100.000 jobs for the local Gambians.
More and more international visitors are choosing the Gambia as a holiday destination, drawn by Gambia’s beaches, beautiful climate, wildlife and of course, the fabulous, friendly people. “The Smiling Coast” is one of the most hospitable and friendly African destinations, hence the name.
The first tourists to the Gambia where Portuguese traders in the 1500′s, introducing peanuts and cotton tot he Gambia, before leaving over a hundred years later after selling their trading rights to the British based on St James Island. Fort James, established by the British, soon had a rival by the Portuguese/French at Albreda. During the 17th and 18th centuries, these two forts where witness to many battles striving for control of the trade industries. The British eventually gained total control in 1783 and administered territory from Sierra Leone until 1888 when the Gambia became a crowned colony and was surrounded by The French Senegal, all apart from a small area of the coastline. In 1960, the Gambians considered electing the French Senegal, however 1965 Gambia became an independent country with Dawda Kairaba Jawara as first president and he retained power until 1994 where he gave up his presidency to current president Yahya Jammeh.
The current president jammah, has done everything in his power to increase tourism and preserve and protect all the things that make Gambia a popular tourist resort. More and more people are returning year after year to Gambia, over 34.000 international visitors travelled through Banjul Airport last year.