The government of The Gambia through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians Abroad has announced on the 22nd of September 2019, a new free Visa policy as adopted by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture for All Chartered and Scheduled Flights to the tiny West African State.
The new visa-free policy applies to citizens from the following destinations: All African countries, All Commonwealth countries, All European Union countries, and Baltic State. Similarly, Belgian citizens are allowed to travel to The Gambia with their identity cards as contained in a circular sent to the diplomatic community.
There has since being a mix reaction among the Gambians. To some, the policy will enhance the integration so desperately needed in the continent, on the other hand, many Gambians continue to grumble over the expensive and difficult nature of securing a visa to the European countries contained on the list.
Tourism is without a doubt, the fastest-growing sector in the Gambian economy. It is the biggest foreign exchange earner and is a major source of employment mostly, the youthful population. It accounts for about 16% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product of The Gambia. The Gambian Government hopes the new policy will boost tourism in the country.
Following the fall of the autocratic leader, Jammeh, tourism has regained its shape in The Gambia, and the Barrow Administration continued to explore the goodwill gesture extended by the International Community in a bit to reinstating the distorted image of The Gambia.
For its historic and peaceful nature, The Gambia is among the leading tourist destinations in Africa.
Gambia Tours, one of The Gambia’s foremost Destination Management Companies has emerged winner of the African Top 100 Tour Operators award 2018.
The inclusion of Commonwealth-State in the newly adopted Visa Free policy will help to strengthen the relationship between the Gambia and the members of the colonial Organization. The Gambia has earlier in 2013 left the Commonwealth until it rejoined in 2018.