As part of efforts to stimulate the Italian tourist market’s interest in The Gambia and Senegal, a high-level delegation comprising representatives of various leading tour operators, regional authorities, Italian press and airlines from different regions in Italy recently arrived in Banjul for a three-day educational visit.
The visit is inline with the new marketing strategy between Italy and The Gambia, which seeks among other things, to increase awareness of destination Gambia through direct marketing, as well as boosting investment and air links between the two countries. The three-day visit of the tourism stakeholders from Italy was organised in collaboration with Africa Connection Tours (ACT), Senegal and Hermitage Travel Italy, as a follow-up to a sales blitz which was held in Milan, Italy earlier this year. That particular event was attended by a high-powered delegation from The Gambia led by Aja Fatou Mass Jobe-Njie, the minister of Tourism and Culture; it was a follow-up to previous engagements in Italy to drum up awareness and network with Italian tour operators and investment executives.
Speaking Tuesday at a dinner organised in honour of the visiting Italian tourism stakeholders at the Coco Ocean Resort and Spa in Bijilo, Oumie Sise, assistant manager at the Discovery Tours harped on the significance of the high-level visit. She said: “It is anticipated that experiencing The Gambia’s highlights and tourism attributes by these prominent stakeholders will potentially contribute in influencing the resumption of tourist arrivals from Italy to The Gambia.” Sise told the gathering that the visit is dedicated to showcasing the unique selling point of destination Gambia in terms of tourist attractions, investment opportunities, and culture amongst a host of others.
The Discovery Tours assistant manager maintained that the visit would not only cement the already excellent bilateral relations between The Gambia and Italy, but would as well boost the tourist flow between the two countries. Sise pointed out that such a visit will boost the traffic between destination Gambia and Italy, as well as repositioning the Smiling Coast as the most sought after destination in Africa. The reaction from the visiting delegates was very impressive about destination Gambia, and the dinner that lasted for almost an hour accorded them the opportunity to be exposed to the destination itself in terms of tourism attractions, investment opportunities, culture and culinary delights, and so on.
Italy has the world’s 3rd largest gold reserve among nations, 4th counting the reserves held by the IMF. The country is also well-known for its influential and innovative business economic sector, an industrious and competitive agricultural sector, and for its creative and high-quality automobile, industrial, appliance and fashion design.