Gambia's tourism industry receives over 100,000 visitors a year and is the second highest earner
of foreign revenue. Tourists mainly come from
Europe with package
tour operators from UK making up over 50% of visitors. The remaining number of visitors arriving from
Germany, Norway, Sweden & other countries. It is estimated that around
44 per cent of high season (winter) tourists are repeat visitors to
the Gambia and Banjul.
The Gambia tourism industry is ranked 168 in the world in terms
of absolute size according to the
World Travel & Tourism Council, 122 in long-term growth measured over 10 years and
38 in its relative contribution to other nation's economies.
It was expected that in 2007 the Gambia tourism industry will
create nearly $134 million US Dollars of total economic activity
in demand. It is predicted that in the same year it will real
terms expand by 3.7% and to continue growing annually after that
at a rate of about 3.8%. It is further predicted to account for
17.6% of total Gross Domestic Product and 14.5% of the
employment total i.e. 85,000 jobs or 1 in every 7 jobs.
The above statistics are only best calculations as there
are a number of independent travellers from Europe as well as
other parts of Africa who may not be well represented.
Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
The contribution of Travel & Tourism to Gross Domestic Product
is expected to decline from 17.9% (GMD3,164.6 million or
US$128.6 million) in 2008 to 17.7% (GMD6,445.3 million or
US$268.3 million) by 2018.
The contribution of the Travel & Tourism economy to employment
is expected to fall from 89,000 jobs in 2008, 14.4% of total
employment or 1 in every 6.9 jobs to 116,000 jobs, 14.3% of
total employment or 1 in every 7.0 jobs by 2018.
Real GDP growth for Travel & Tourism economy is expected to be
-0.2% in 2008 and to average 3.7% per annum over the coming 10
Export earnings from international visitors and tourism goods
are expected to generate 21.8% of total exports (GMD2,068.7
million or US$84.1 million) in 2008, growing (nominal terms) to
GMD4,141.0 million or US$172.4 million (19.5% of total) in 2018.
Tourism has now surpassed the export of
as the country's biggest foreign exchange earner, and now
accounts for some 16 percent of the gross domestic product
(GDP), according to government figures.
Last updated 14 January, 2011.