The Gambia Experience, one of the most regular flights to Destination Gambia that operates all year round, Friday afternoon landed at the Banjul International airport with 186 passengers.
This was the maiden flight of The Gambia Experience in this year's winter tourism season 2017/2018 which started earlier this month.
The Gambia Experience Flight, which is a household name in the tourism industry, was the first flight to resume operations to the country after the political turmoil of 2016.
Receiving the airbus A320 from Gatwick at the Banjul International Airport, Abdoulie Hydara, Director General of the Gambia Tourism Board, said the ongoing tourism season was full of hope to a boom season compared to previous years.
He disclosed that The Gambia Experience would be operating four flights per week during the tourism season, which is another achievement for the industry.
DG Hydara noted that more maiden flights to the destination are already lined-up, starting from October till November.
He added that the industry was expecting around one hundred and forty-six flights for the season and as well three new flights to join the destination from the sub region.
This, he described as unprecedented as they are going to be both scheduled and chartered flights.
However, he said, the GTBoard was not only looking at the number of arrivals to the country but also the activities in the industry, which includes tourism facilities like hotels and resorts.
Adama Njie, director of marketing at GTBoard, said it was going to be a successful season as they are projecting 200,000 arrivals for the season, which would go beyond the arrival recorded in 2013 winter tourism season.
He noted that the destination was in a better position this year compared to 2016, especially that Thomas Cook UK would be operating 9 flights, The Gambia Experience between 3 and 4 flights per week; Thomas Cook Scandinavia Finland and Sweden 2 per week.
TUI-Belgium would be twice a week; Corendon Airlines 3 to 4 flights and also TUI-Holland would be 5 flights.
He said from the sub region ASKY and other flights from other parts of Europe would join too.
Oumie Ceesay, Discovery Tours, an agent for The Gambia Experience, expressed satisfaction over the attitude and services of the airport service personnel, which, she noted, has improved.
“They are gradually adhering to what was discussed at the stakeholders meeting and we really hope this new attitude will continue,” she said.
Muhammed Jatta and Joyce Mary of The Gambia Experience, both added that it was going to be a promising season as they were expecting more tourists this year as booking to the destination was rising every week.