The Gambia Tourism Board (GTBoard)Wednesday handed overhead lights/signs to tourist taxi drivers that passed the recent Motor Ordinance Test (MOT). The ceremony was held at the Tourism Security Unit (TSU) based in Senegambia. The new initiative is meant to assist the tourist taxis that are operating in the tourism industry .
Speaking at the ceremony, Abubacarr Camara, the manager, Quality Control and License at GTBoard, said that the testing was done in two-months. He also revealed that out of 500, only 375 were successful in the MOT. Hethanked The Gambia Police Force and all those who collaborated with GTBoard during the exercise.
For his part, Benjamin Roberts, the director general of GTBoard, explained that the initiative started after series of consultations among GTBoard, the Ministry of Tourism and Culture and relevant stakeholders. He described the initiative as a change in the right direction. He told the gathering that the move is part of the target for Vision 2020 in the tourism sector, as they want to set standards in the industry for tourists coming to the country.
Roberts expressed hope that the partnership among the TSU, taxi drivers and GTBoard will continue, noting that the tourism industry is very critical to the economy. He urged the beneficiaries to put on the lights, while assuring them of their support at all times.
Speaking earlier, Inspector Abdoulie Badgie of the Police Testing Unit described the new initiative as something in the right direction. He commended the tourist taxi drivers for always complying with the laws laid down by GTBoard.
Ebrima Jaiteh, the secretary general of the Tourist Taxi Drivers Association, said that the initiative is the first of its kind and highly welcomed by the drivers. Jaiteh revealed that all the beneficiaries paid D2000 for the lights, while calling on the GTBoard and TSU to provide security so that they will not be disturbed by other taxi drivers. He also thanked the TSU for cooperating with the tourist taxi drivers, while urging them to keep up the momentum.