For a country with a population of 2.417 million people and blessed with good beach acreage, what could go wrong? Well, lonely pensioner grannies from UK are the start of Gambia tourism problems.
For European ladies seeking good pleasure with available African “toy” boys, the Gambia is safe haven. For three decades now; the tiny West African country carved a rather nasty reputation in hindsight.
It all started when British travel agents offering budget-friendly package vacations of this little West African nation. Now, the Gambian government is sick of British middle-aged ladies on pleasure tourism after hosting thousands of them for over 30 years.
This tiny African nation is trying to shed its image as a coitus tourism hotspot by targeting what it calls “quality” tourists.
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What Dangers are in Gambia?
Serious crime in Ghana is uncommon. But petty crimes of pickpocketing in crowded streets, markets, taxi bays and beaches in isolation are common.
However, Gambia tourism problems lie with older and lonely European women – more from UK. Most of them fly here in pursuit of satisfying their bodily desires, not the wildlife or culture.
Gambia Tourism Board in an interview with The Sun UK said that it is aware of sexual exploits behind the veneer of tourism. The high unemployed rates fuel this vice as young men look up to wealthy but older women from Europe to bankroll them.
In fact, these vagrant men have a name; ‘bumsters’. It’s a term that describes opportunist men in Gambian beaches and in Senegambia near the capital city, Banjul.
They don’t mind being tame to white grannies; they look at how much they will earn by making them happy in any way they want. It is actually difficult to go along the beach as a visitor from Europe without getting a ‘marriage proposal’.
The ‘can I marry you’ comes with showers of compliments, and the true Gambian experience in bed. The Smiling Coast still has a sinister aspect, despite the fact that for many people it is a fun ego boost.
Sadly, these young men with ripped, chisel-shaped abs are also smart. They milk these women dry without second thoughts. This now adds to Gambia tourism problems.
Hundreds of heartbroken Britons reached out to Gambian lawyer Lamin Ceesay of Solie Law Chambers in 2021. They sought guidance after their age-gap relationships ended in tragedy and financial devastation.
In an interview with The Sun, he decried that the bumsters are everywhere causing a lot of disturbance to our tourism economy. He explains that these young men have motives to get a connection to fly to the UK but when it’s not viable, they fleece these women.
If they are unsuccessful, they try to coerce these gullible women into giving them money, a house or a car.
Is The Gambia Safe for Tourists?
Traveling in The Gambia is a relatively a risk-free experience. The streets of Banjul, the capital, and its surrounding areas are dotted with checkpoints.
Nevertheless, always take measures to protect yourself and your belongings. You can never be too sure. If security personnel stop you, they will likely search your vehicle but they are friendly and easy-going.
Why is Tourism Important for Gambia?
The Gambia Tourism Board estimates that 42,000 Gambians are directly employed by the tourism industry. The sector contributes 20% of the country’s GDP.
Even with the bumsters causing Gambia tourism problems, the sector remains a vibrant one. Gambia’s government has made it a priority to promote the country’s “quality” tourism thought the country’s abundant wildlife and cultural attractions.
Its two Unesco World Heritage sites and its collection of more than 300 species of tropical birds are key selling points for tourists.
Tourist representatives from Gambia flew to the United Kingdom this summer. This was in an effort to expand the number of flights between London and Banjul.
Gambia hopes to attract younger and wealthier travelers searching for a more upscale winter getaway and not pleasure-seeking tourists. The officials met representatives from British Airways and tour companies.
What is Gambia Known For?
The wildlife and national parks of Gambia are the country’s main draws. Gambia offers a wide variety of safari destinations.
It’s also a haven for birdwatchers with over 500 different bird species. The pearl-white long beaches birthed elegant and affordable hotels fit for every traveller.
In addition, Gambians are generally friendly and love working out. So, it’s not a wonder bumping into a pack of young energetic men jogging along the beach and doing pushups.
Is Gambia Safe for Females?
Travel to and within Gambia is generally risk-free and safe. There are not many instances of violent crime, and the risk of terrorism is low. The probability of natural disasters is low, and solo female travelers are also safe.
They are only prone to a pack of bumsters looking at fattening their bank accounts by rendering ‘bed services’. While this is not a crime, you could end up returning home broke.