Say no to all-inclusive holidays in The Gambia as it is very destructive to our economy

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We are appealing to holidaymakers choosing to visit The Gambia, to please purchase your holidays responsibly, and with consideration for our local communities and businesses that are so dependent on you.
Our well-being and sustainability depend greatly on the ethical choices that you make.
The Gambia is a developing country, and tourism is our main industry.
 In the 2017 to 2018 tourist season, we experienced a shocking rise in all-inclusive holidays to The Gambia. This has caused us huge financial losses, but the worst part of it all, is the loss of lives of our precious young women and men who have become disillusioned due to the lack of opportunities and are running away trying to get to Europe by taking that treacherous journey through the Sahara Desert, and across the Mediterranean in search of a brighter future.    According to a study conducted by UNEP on all- inclusive holiday package deals to developing countries, "For every US $100 spent on vacations by a tourist from a developed country, only around US $5 actually stays in a developing country destination’s economy”
 The Gambia is a developing country, and tourism is our main industry, yet why have the big international tour companies behaved so unethically?
We depend on tourism for our living. We depend on you coming out of your hotels to shop at our craft markets, going out and experiencing our cultural festivals, our great Afrobeat concerts, our excursions with our small independent tour companies to explore our beautiful country. 
Had the actress Viola Davies taken an all-inclusive package holiday she wouldn’t have experienced such wonders –
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvNHvdDUlQ0&t=62s
We also depend on you eating at our trendy local restaurants and hanging out in our vibrant bars, using our transport system, buying fresh juices from our local fruit sellers, having your hair intricately braided at one of our many local salons, and there is so, so much more to offer you in our beautiful smiling happy country.
 But sadly, all that has come to an end, as the majority of tourists now stay in their hotels. They eat and drink there, and rarely venture out except when going on their pre-paid excursions which are part of their all-inclusive package deal. This is paid to the hotel owners that just happen to also own the tour company that takes them out on these excursions. Occasionally some tourists do venture out to explore, but the majority do not.
 This is an urgent plea, appealing to you to please do what’s right, as our local communities and businesses have been completely cut off from the industry and are now facing extreme economic challenges. The Gambia is a developing country, and tourism is our main industry.
PLEASE SAY NO TO ALL-INCLUSIVE HOLIDAYS AND EXPLORE OUR BEAUTIFUL GAMBIA, THE SMILING COAST OF AFRICA
 Thank you for your understanding.



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