Tourism in LEDCS

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Tourism in LEDCs- Gambia

Gambia is described as ‘The Smiling Coast of Africa’ and despite being one of the smallest countries within Africa, it is quite a stable place. However, the level of stability within the country is much higher than that of wealth or prosperity as the soil quality mainly only allows the growth of peanuts, which Gambia highly relies upon the export of. In recent years there have been attempts to generate oil from Gambia, but there has been no successful attempts at striking oil, as of yet.
When it comes to tourism, Gambia has a lot to offer. It has beach side hotels, with plenty of sunbeds and clear blue pools; spa treatment holidays; eco lodges for environmentally conscious travellers, resort hotels and wildlife holidays including bird-watching tours and fishing trips. And for travellers looking for something more than a holiday, there is also plenty of opportunities to volunteer in Gambia within communities and schools in the less touristic villages through sites like www.volunteerabroad.com.

Although there is a lot on offer within Gambia for tourists, how does this actually affect the locals? Are the influences positive or negative? If we consider Bakau, it is one of the main tourist resorts within Gambia and offers hotels within the town, apparently giving a ‘real African experience’.

However, when we compare the hotel to a local house within Bakau, it doesn’t seem like the tourists are actually getting a taste of the true Bakau, and the hotel’s income doesn’t seem to be improving the quality of living for the locals. This proves the assumption an imbalanced society will benefit as a whole from an economic growth, including the poorest communities, which, in fact, is never normally the case.

However, Mitchell and Faal (2007) note that tourism in Gambia does provide employment opportunities for the poor, including; hotel staff, transport staff, tour guides, food suppliers and craftsmen. Although these are not seen as high

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