All over the world, governments give the tourism industry priority because of its profitability. It is in the interest of humanity for people to move around the world to see for themselves the wonders of the universe. Importantly for the country, the industry provides the flow of foreign exchange, enhancing balance of payments for the good of the national economy.
However, the industry does evoke unwarranted and negative influences in the host countries especially in the developing world. Clearly, the manner in which tourists conduct themselves depends on the host territory they visit. Every state has its own social values and cultural norms, which any person who is in that state, citizen or non-citizen, should adhere to.
On the part of The Gambia, the Gambia Tourism Authority has realised that despite the tremendous contribution of the industry to our GDP, our society is bound by moral values, which we cannot afford to compromise. We cannot in any circumstance allow intruders to poison our decent social life. This is why the new legislation to toughen tourism offences is welcome.
Besides, the world is advancing towards the standards of human dignity, value and worth; our youths and children, particularly the girl child, have rights in that respect. We are therefore calling on the Gambia Tourism Authority and the police force to continue keeping a watchful eye on the people who infiltrate our tourism industry.
The undesirable elements that are bent on polluting our society with immoral activities should be flushed out. The progress of the nation depends on our young people. They therefore deserve something much better than 'bumstering', sexual abuse and other forms of vices against the children and youths of the country.