This West African country is trying to get rid of its image as a hotspot for sex-tourism among mature European women
Gambia hopes to modernize its image internationally and draw more tourists. “quality tourists,”Instead of European women looking for sex with young men, Abubacarr Camara is the director of Gambia Tourism Board. This was reported by The Telegraph Wednesday.
This outlet reported that the nation of West Africa, with just 2.5 million inhabitants, had recently been deemed a safe haven for women aged over 50 from Europe and the UK.
“What we want is quality tourists,”Camara. “Tourists that come to enjoy the country and the culture, but not tourists that come just for sex.”
Officials in Gambian say that they are looking to attract millennials and higher-end tourists by encouraging ecotourism. This will help to end the sleazy image of the country.
Hamat Bah, the nation’s minister for tourism and culture, told The Telegraph that Gambia wanted to shift the focus away from nightlife and towards nature, pointing out that there are over 300 different species of tropical birds in the country.
According to the outlet, the government is now looking to introduce new laws that could make it easier for law enforcement to arrest both local beach boys and older women engaged in “suspected relationships.”
After Thomas Cook, a global travel agent launched low-cost flights to Gambia and holiday packages for budget travelers to this former British colony in 1990s, sextourism in Gambia was born. Gambia has been known for being home to many young black men willing to provide sexual services in return for money to women over 50 years of age.
The Telegraph notes that many young Gambian men are drawn into the sex industry because the country has low wages and a shortage of jobs, while just a few days with an elderly European woman can net over $200 – the equivalent of a month’s salary in the nation.
“People are poor here, so they have no choice,”Kausu Samateh is a Gambian guide. “They think it is better to go to Europe where they will have a better life. They hope that the old ladies will take them,”He told the outlet.
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