The Tourism and Culture Minister, Hamat N.K Bah, has disclosed on Tuesday the government’s plan of constructing a state of the arts eco-hotel in Barra.
“By next month [March), we will lay the foundation stone of a new eco-hotel here in (Barra) as in line with the National Development Plan (2018-2021). It will create employment opportunities for the youths of not only Barra but across the region,” he said at Fort Bullen as part of his ministry and related departments’ one-week tour of tourism and cultural sites in the country.
“This is a huge project that will place Barra as a tourism hotspot for this region. It will also go a long way to addressing rural-urban drift as well as the back-way syndrome popular among the youths of the region,” he said.
In late 2019, over sixty Gambians lost their lives at sea. The majority were from Barra as they attempted to reach Spain through the Canary Island in search of greener pastures.
He said the government will send a delegation comprising experts and officials from the Gambia Tourism Board to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the people of Barra that will see a win-win situation for both the community and Gambia Tourism Board.
“We are working very hard to also provide tourism training centers across the region. This will also prepare the youths to secure jobs in their own backyard,” he stated.
Bah, also the leader of National Reconciliation Party (NRP) said plans are on the offing to galvanized resources for an overhaul renovation of Fort Bullen to give back its original look and form. He said the renovation done on the site by the former government was a waste of resources.
“The renovation work done here is too bad and my ministry is making efforts to restore the look and originality of the edifice. We will engage our partners like the US Embassy in our efforts to galvanize the needed resources in embarking on a major renovation of this site because the previous renovation only destroyed the look and form of the edifice,” Tourism and Culture Minister posited.
He said Fort Bullen is a great history for this The Gambia that his ministry cannot afford to see it ruined. He noted that the renovation of the site will enhance tourism development in that part of the country.
He stated that the government places a great importance to the development of tourism and culture in the country, adding that the promotion of Gambian cultures to nationals and visitors alike is also a priority that the government and ministry considered important.
The delegation will continue its tour to Juffureh, Albreda, Kaur, Kuntuar and Laminkoto to wrap up today’s engagement.