By Sanna Camara
The new UK envoy to The Gambia Colin Crorkin has revealed that about 70,000 visitors from the UK come to The Gambia for tourism a year, representing 60% of all tourists visiting The Gambia.
High Commissioner Crokin made this revelation after presenting credentias to the Gambian vice president, Isatou Njie-Saidy at the State House today. He said Britain and The Gambia have many shared aims and goals.
“The British Embassy will work in harmony with our international partners, in particular the EU and the UN, to help The Gambia achieve these aspirations. The people to people ties between our two countries are already strong and continue to grow each year,” he said.
With tourism accounting for around 20% of The Gambia’s GDP and employing over 100,000 Gambians, British tourists are vital to the Gambian economy.
“A high percentage are repeat visitors which shows the real bond that exists between our two nations. A significant number of British nationals have also chosen to make The Gambia their home,” the envoy said.
He added that the Medical Research Council in The Gambia is a unique facility that carries out vital research which benefits people in many nations – not just The Gambia.
“This facility receives significant funding from the UK taxpayers (over £7 million a year) and provides employment for well over a 1000 locals – I am immensely proud of the UK’s association with the MRC and the contribution it is making every day in The Gambia and beyond,” he added.
The envoy has expressed his desire “to ensure that my time here is mutually beneficial. “My task is to take the relationship to the next level and I am looking forward to the challenges and the opportunities that will present.”