According to data from the World Travel and Tourism Council, in 2015, tourism accounted for up to 20.2% of The Gambia’s GDP and employed over 125,000 people or 1 in every 7 jobs in the country. Indeed, tourism is the backbone of The Gambia’s economy, which had depended almost totally on the export of groundnuts (peanuts) from 1830 onward. Soon after independence, tourism was seen as a viable and sustainable alternative to groundnuts as an income earner for the country.

Successive governments since 1965, when The Gambia became independent from British rule, have always prioritized tourism. Even the British colonial rulers did not frown on tourist visitors, which is why from as early as 1936, British cruise ships have docked in Bathurst, now Banjul, for short ...

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