GTBoard, NCAC agree to build 4-Star Hotel in Barra

A framework agreement for the development and implementation of a four-star hotel was on Wednesday, May 20th signed between The Gambia Tourism Board (GTBoard) and the National Centre for Arts and Culture (NCAC). The agreement paves the way for GTBoard to build the four-star hotel in the coastal town of Barra, North Bank Region (NBR).

Abdoulie Hydara, Director General of GTBoard; and Hassoum Ceesay, Director General of the NCAC, signed the agreement on behalf of their respective organisations. The project is expected to strengthen the tie between GTBoard and NCAC and promote domestic and heritage tourism.


About the hotel

The Barra Hotel project situated at Barra Point, NBR, is a 40-room facility built by GTBoard. It is meant to solve the long-standing need for good accommodation in Barra town, lack of which has greatly affected tourism and trade in the town. The hotel will create employment for the community of Barra and environs, give space for artists in the form of craft shops where materials of interest could be made and sold to visitors. It will add value to Barra and foster a lot of businesses related to tourism and culture for the women and youth of Barra and Niumi at large.

The main elements of the development comprised of: 40 rooms (Standard, Studio, and Suites), kitchen, bar and restaurant, lounge bar, reception area with lounge, parking at entrance, swimming pool and administrative offices.

Speaking at the signing ceremony held at the Ministry of Tourism and Culture (MOTC), Hon. Hamat N.K Bah, Minister of MOTC, congratulated the Directors General of NCAC and GTBoard for the partnership. This development he stated is in line with the key policies of the government of President Adama Barrow, as it seeks to promote domestic tourism.

He expressed hope that Gambian, well as non-Gambian investors would also come to partake in this venture of constructing new facilities upcountry for the promotion of domestic tourism. He encouraged Gambians to explore their country in order to see its beauty.

Minister Bah commended the GTBoard for fulfilling the aspiration of President Barrow.

Abdoulie M. Touray, the Chairperson of the GTBoard, congratulates NCAC and GTBoard for this partnership.

In reference to the COVID-19 pandemic, Touray pointed out the need to rethink about strategies and directions that tourism would take post-COVID-19. “What is very evident is that the world is now in a new dispensation and that new dispensation looks at sustainability; how do we ensure sustainability in terms of the planet, people and also productivity?”

According to him, the major attraction for people wanting to come to Gambia is premised on heritage; thus, urged for the country to develop its heritage sites.

“We are lucky that The Gambia is blessed with UNESCO Heritage Sites [such as] Fort Bullen; but if you want to promote it you have to look at it in a more holistic manner. You put in the necessary facilities that are cutting edge, that would attract tourists who would want to return and to also stay that facility,” he further remarked.

The GTBoard Chairman vouched that the partnership is a win-win “because it will give tourists the opportunity to discover our culture and rich heritage and it will also bring in development in the area”. Thus, he described the new development in Barra as a game changer for the industry.

Hassoum Ceesay, the Director general of the NCAC asserted that the signing of the MoU is a sign of fruitful partnership between the NCAC and GTBoard, adding that the initiative will add value to the UNESCO World heritage site at Barra Point Fort Bullen.

“This also shows the readiness of the Ministry to respond to the National Development Plan [2018-2021] and also to the needs of the community of Barra”.

Abdoulie Hydara, the Director General of GTBoard commended the NCAC for giving them the opportunity to come into a public-public partnership. According to him, this is one of the first of its kind and that it is a partnership that is worth emulating.

“Culture drives tourism, so there is no way that tourism can survive without us having a strong partnership to drive the sector,” he remarked, adding that the culture sector is an important pillar in Gambian tourism.

Mr Hydara therefore assured of GTBoard’s commitment to support any development that would bring The Gambia onto the world map,” he assured.


By: Mariatou Ngum Information Officer, MOTC