The Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs with support from the World Bank has launched a ten-day training for sector workers and public officers within the Tourism and Hospitality industry.

The training is being facilitated by tourism experts from Gambia Tourism and Hospitality Institute and was held at Njala Venue, Aberdeen Beach Road, Freetown.

Despite its rich natural, cultural and historical resources, the sector continues to face both infrastructural and acute human resource capacity challenges limiting the output of staff within the public and private sectors.

It was against this backdrop that during the visit of a high-level delegation from the Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs and the National Tourist Board to the 65th UNWTO Regional CAF Meeting, the team, as part of its regular networking had a fruitful meeting with the Gambian delegation, particularly the Director General of the Gambian Tourism and Hospitality Institute (GTHI) where the GTHI upon the request of the Minister of Tourism agreed to train staff from the public sector in selected subjects areas drawn from the National Tourism Capacity Building Action Plan.

Articulating the rationale of the training, the Director of Tourism, Mohamed Jalloh noted that the training was borne out of the Minister’s idea to strengthen the capacity of sector workers. He said the Gambian has pursued uninterrupted fruitful tourism initiatives, hence their experts are sharing their experiences during the ten-day training.

He furthered that the training was an important one that targets public officers in the sector and also resonates with government human capital development initiatives

The Rooms Division Manager, Gambia Tourism and Hospitality Institute, Sheriff Conteh said they are targeting six key areas; sustainable destination management, hospitality inspection/monitoring, tourism and climate change, regenerative tourism policy and strategy, project management, and resource mobilization.

He said the ten-day session is an interactive knowledge-sharing platform where participants would acquire knowledge and deliver the knowledge in the discharge of their duties.

Launching the Training, the Minister, Dr. Memunatu Pratt thanked the World Bank for their support saying that the program was one of the starters of their tourism capacity building programs She added that the training would provide formal instructions much more than what is done in the offices.

She continued that the essence of the training was to have a sector where staff are well informed and know what they to contribute meaningfully to the growth of the sector.

She applauded the facilitators from Gambia for sharing their experiences with them and called on the participants to make the most of the training to achieve value for money.